Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets Preview
Tonight, will be a heavyweight Western Conference battle taking place in the Rocky Mountains. The Denver Nuggets (41-18) are currently seeded second for the playoffs and sit three games ahead of their opponent the Oklahoma City Thunder (38 -21), who are currently seeded third in the west.
Oklahoma City last played Saturday night at home and lost 119-116 to Sacramento. The Thunder trailed by seven after the opening quarter and by 15 at the half. The Thunder were able to come back in the second half and tie the game at 116 with 1:01 to play. However, they went scoreless the rest of the way and Russell Westbrook was called for a charge on a potential game-tying layup. With the loss, Oklahoma City has lost two of their last three. Denver on the other hand, last played on Sunday afternoon and beat the Clippers 123-96 at the Pepsi Center.
These two teams have already played twice this year with the Nuggets being victorious in both. In the last meeting, Denver won 109-98 at home on December 14, 2018. The Thunder have seen very different performances from All-Star Nikola Jokic in both games as well. In the first, game, Jokic only made six of 20 shots, grabbed six rebounds and recorded five assists. But in the second game, he scored 24 points on 16 shots and doubled his rebounds and assists from the first game.
Time: 10:30 pm ET
Arena: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup
In Saturday’s close loss to Sacramento, the Thunder shot 38.1 percent from the field and 14 of 46 from three-point range. Russell Westbrook led OKC with 41 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. Westbrook has scored 40 or more points in the past three consecutive games and has a chance to tie his longest streak of 40-plus point games tonight. He previously recorded four straight back in Feb. 26, 2017 through March 3, 2017.
The Thunder rank third in the NBA averaging 116 points per game and second in rebounding with 48.1 boards per game. However, they need to increase their assists numbers as they currently rank 21st in the NBA averaging 23.4 per game. Defensively, Oklahoma City ranks 13th in the league and has allowed 110.9 points a game.
Paul George is leading OKC in scoring with 28.7 points and is also averaging 8.1 boards with 2.22 steals a game. Russell Westbrook is second on the team in scoring and averaging a triple-double on the season with 22.5 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 11 assists a game. Steven Adams chips in 14.7 points plus 9.5 boards a night while Dennis Schroder adds 15.6 points and 4.1 assists per game. Andre Roberson is still out after rupturing his patellar tendon on January 27, 2018. He suffered a setback and will be out indefinitely.
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup
Denver picked up their fourth straight victory Saturday afternoon beating the Clippers 129-96. Denver was up seven points after the first quarter and were up by eight at the half. The Nuggets opened the second half on fire with a 13-2 run and the Clippers couldn’t keep up, as they didn’t get closer than 12 points the rest of the game. Denver shot 51.8 percent from the field, including 12 of 34 from three-point range. They also dominated the glass 56-38 and offset 22 turnovers. Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 22 points and had16 rebounds in the win.
The Nuggets are tied for 15th in the league in scoring offense and averaging 112.2 points per game. Denver is currently 7th in the league in rebounding with 46.8 rebounds per contest and second in the league averaging 27.7 assists per game. Defensively, they rank seventh and are allowing 106.8 points per contest and Nikola Jokic is the team’s leading scorer with 20.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists a game.
Paul Millsap is averaging 12.5 points and seven rebounds, while Will Barton (11.5 points) Gary Harris (14.6 points) and Jamal Murray (18.1 points) have also made contributed on offense. The Nuggets are 8th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 47.1 percent from the field and rank 17th in the league with 11.1 threes per game. Isaiah Thomas made his season debut against the Kings February 13 after recovering from hip surgery.
Nuggets vs. Thunder Betting Odds
Oklahoma City is a slight -2 favorite tonight and are 32-17 on the year when favored. They’ve also been good on road going 17-13. What’s interesting for Denver is that they have the NBA’s best home record of 26-4, but still find themselves as an underdog. The Nuggets have an 8-8 record as an underdog on the year. The money line has slightly increased to OKC -130 and the over/under is set at 217.5 points.
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Bet on Matchup
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