Denver Nuggets (36-28) at Oklahoma City Thunder (47-18), 8:00 P.M. EST tip

Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Oklahoma City Thunder (1-game winning streak)
107.1 Offensive Efficiency (2nd)
99.8 Defensive Efficiency (9th)
95.7 Pace (6th)
56.7 True Shooting % (1st)
51.5 Rebound Rate (4th)

Denver Nuggets (2-game winning streak)
106.1 Offensive Efficiency (3rd)
103.4 Defensive Efficiency (20th)
96.6 Pace (2nd)
55.5 True Shooting % (3rd)
51.5 Rebound Rate (4th)

The Thunder will close out the regular season tonight hosting the Nuggets. The Thunder are already locked into the second seed in the West so the result of the game really doesn’t matter.

Kevin Durant is currently 0.11 points ahead of Kobe Bryant in the scoring title race. Bryant will play tomorrow night in his final game of the season and will likely have to outscore Durant by around 6-7 points to catch him.

Denver is currently a half game ahead of Dallas for the six-seed in the West and has two games left including tonight. Dallas also has two games left. Getting the sixth seed instead of the seventh would mean playing the Lakers in the first round instead of the Thunder.

The Thunder have beaten the Nuggets both times that the teams have played this season. The first was the more memorable one with the Thunder winning 124-118 in overtime and Durant scoring a career-high 51 points.

The fact of the matter tonight is that the Nuggets have much more to play for than the Thunder and if last night is any indicator, the Thunder won’t be going all out to win this game.

Oklahoma City beat Sacramento last night but the starters did not play the fourth quarter despite trailing heading into the final period. Daequan Cook scored a season-high 19 points to lead the Thunder to the victory.

The Nuggets are not the Kings though and if the Thunder come out like they did last night, they will likely lose their final regular season home game tonight.

James Harden will not play tonight but David Stern did say in a press conference today, “We have reason to believe that James [Harden] will be available for the playoffs.”

That is most certainly good news for the Thunder who would be lost without Harden in the playoffs.

Topics: David Stern, Denver Nuggets, James Harden, Kevin Durant, NBA Playoffs, Russell Westbrook, Scoring Champion

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