Time: 6:00 PM CST
TV: FSOK & NBA TV
The Oklahoma City Thunder (14-7) are taking their two-game winning streak to Detroit tonight, facing Blake Griffin and the upstart Pistons (13-7) at Little Caesars Arena. Fresh off Friday night’s 124-109 blowout of the Hawks, the Thunder are in for a tougher test tonight in the Motor City. The Pistons have won five straight — including a 111-102 victory over the Warriors on Saturday — and eight of their last 10 games. The recent surge has them fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.
Tip-off is at 6:00 P.M. CST and will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma and NBA TV. The Thunder are two-point road favorites according to Odds Shark.
- Terrance Ferguson: Active — Ankle
- Andre Roberson: Out — Knee
Pistons: Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Glenn Robinson III, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond
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What to Watch For
Pistons Bigs. Detroit is led by their two-headed monster in the frontcourt, as Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will spearhead their attack. Griffin comes in averaging 24.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists. Drummond has been a monster in his own right, posting 18.6 points and an NBA-best 16.4 rebounds per game. These two will be a test for the Thunder’s interior defense, so expect Steven Adams and Jerami Grant to be extremely busy. I’d also expect a tad more Nerlens Noel than his usual 13.7 minutes per game. His ability on the defensive end will be necessary against a post-oriented Pistons team.
Battle on the Boards. Both teams are more than capable on the glass, as the Thunder enter as the NBA’s fourth-best rebounding team (48.4 RPG) and the Pistons at number six (47.7). Furthermore, the two squads are the two best offensive rebounding teams in the league, as OKC grabs 13 offensive boards per game compared to 12.9 for Detroit.
And Old Friend. As always, the Russell Westbrook/Reggie Jackson matchup at point guard should be a lot of fun. Jackson is averaging 16.3 points and 4.2 assists so far this season, shooting 39.6 percent from the floor and 34.4 percent from long range. He and Westbrook have a contentious history that dates back to Jackson’s time in OKC. There’s also apparently no love lost between Jackson and Adams, as Adams wrote in his autobiography, “When he was finally traded to the Detroit Pistons we forgot about him pretty quickly because we had new guys to welcome to the team.” Hard screens incoming.
En Fuego. Alex Abrines exploded on Friday night, scoring a season-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from downtown in the 15-point win over Atlanta. The Pistons lead the NBA when it comes to defending the three-point line, holding opponents to just 31.2 percent shooting so far this season. With Hamidou Diallo still not 100 percent and Terrance Ferguson (ankle) appearing unlikely to suit up, Abrines should enjoy extended opportunity yet again. While he’s unlikely to have a career-night for the second time in two games, he would give the Thunder a boost with another effective performance from deep.
*Update: Terrance Ferguson is active and in the starting lineup vs Detroit.
Nick Gallo’s game day report: