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Preview 68 of 82: Thunder vs Nets

Preview 68 of 82: Thunder vs Nets

Time: 6:00 PM CST


Game Notes: Thunder / Nets

The Thunder (41-26) have returned home from their four-game road trip, taking on the Brooklyn Nets (36-33) tonight in Oklahoma City. The Nets enter having won four straight and find themselves sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Thunder are fourth in the West after a 4-6 record in the last 10 games, but are coming off an emotional road win over the Jazz on Monday night in Utah. They’ll look to build on that momentum with a victory over one of the NBA’s most surprising teams this season.

Tip-off is at 6:00 PM CST and will be televised on ESPN and Fox Sports Oklahoma. The Thunder are 7-point home favorites according to Odds Shark.

Injury Report


  • Markieff Morris: Doubtful — Neck
  • Andre Roberson: Out — Knee


  • DeMarre Carroll: Out — Knee
  • Treveon Graham: Out — Back

Probable Starters

Nets: D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, Joe Harris, Rodions Kurucs, Jarrett Allen




Four Factors


What to Watch For

The First Time. The Thunder are 1-0 against the Nets this season, securing a come-from-behind 114-112 victory on December 6 in Brooklyn. The Thunder rallied from a 23-point deficit to stun the Nets when Paul George dropped the go-ahead three with 3.1 seconds remaining. The bucket gave him 47 on the night — 25 of which came in the fourth quarter alone.

Hey, Paul. George has failed to score more than 15 points in each of the Thunder’s last two games — a far cry from the career-high 28.2 PPG he’s averaging this season. He was just 2-of-8 from the floor in Monday’s win over Utah, dropping his numbers to 21.5 PPG on 30.6 percent shooting (22.9% 3P) in the four games since returning from his shoulder injury. He really needs to break out of the slump soon (preferably tonight) to ease concerns that the shoulder is still more of an issue than he and the Thunder are letting on.

The Brodie. Westbrook is rounding into form at the appropriate time, averaging 30.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 5.8 assists over the last five games. He’s making 48 percent of his field goals over the span, including a 40.9 percent clip from downtown on nearly nine attempts per game. He needs to keep it rolling long enough for George to find his rhythm, if only so we can all see what it looks like when they’re both on at the same time.

Keef. Markieff Morris left Monday’s game due to neck soreness, and is doubtful to play tonight versus the Nets. As such, we’re all heading back to 2Pat Island. Expect Patrick Patterson to land back in the rotation if Morris does indeed sit. Hopefully Morris’ latest injury isn’t too much of a setback, but he did miss a good chunk of the season due to transient cervical neuropraxia — a nerve issue in the neck.

Defending the Nets. All-Star D’Angelo Russell leads the Nets in scoring at 20.3 PPG, shooting 36.3 percent from long range in the process. He’s joined in double-figures by Spencer Dinwiddie (17.4 PPG), Caris LeVert (14.3 PPG), Joe Harris (13.6 PPG, 46.4% 3P), and Jarrett Allen (11.2 PPG).

Attacking the Nets. The Nets have the top defense in the league when it comes to stifling opposing 3-point shooters, as teams are only making 33.9 percent of their threes against Brooklyn this season. They also allow just 10.9 PPG in fast break scoring, second-best in the NBA. However, they give up 17.7 PPG off turnovers (T-23rd), 14.3 PPG in second-chance scoring (T-25th), and 51.1 PPG in the paint (T-26).