January 20, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durrant (35) drives to the basket against Denver Nuggets forward Corey Brewer (13) during the overtime period at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 121-118 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

OKC Thunder (42-15) vs. Denver Nuggets (37-22) Preview

The Oklahoma City Thunder will play the Denver Nuggets for the third time this season tonight at the Pepsi Center at 10:30 p.m. EST.

The Thunder and Nuggets have split their season series so far this year with the home team winning each time.

The Thunder played one of their best games of the year back on Jan. 16 when they beat the Nuggets 117-97 in OKC.

Kevin Durant had 20 points in that game but it was Russell Westbrook who dominated the most with a game-high 32. Kevin Martin chipped in with 20 off the bench on 8-of-12 shooting.

The Thunder would lose the next time they played Denver 121-118 in overtime in Denver.

Durant had 37 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the game but went just 7-for-20 from the field. He did go 20-for-21 from the foul line.

Westbrook had 36 to go with nine dimes and eight boards. He went 10-for-26 from the field and 15-for-17 from the free throw line.

Denver got back to their bread and butter in that game with 20 offensive rebounds and 66 points in the paint. Corey Brewer led the team with 26 off the bench.

It’s a big game tonight for the Thunder who would like to keep up the positive momentum they’ve been having lately. The Thunder won their last three games (all at home) by an average of 30.3 points. This all coming after the Thunder had their longest losing streak of the season of three games.

Denver has been one of the best teams in the league of late and that is only amplified when they play at home where they are 24-3 on the year.

They’re going to want to get up and down and do so early on. If the Thunder aren’t hitting early and can’t get back on defense, they may find themselves in a hole quickly.

Westbrook will be the key early on. He will surely be aggressive from the start since he has been shooting so well recently. Even though Ty Lawson is quick, Westbrook does not see him as any kind of threat to defend him so Westbrook will definitely be shooting early and often.

The Thunder have been getting good games from role players recently too. They will definitely need Martin and/or Serge Ibaka to step up tonight, which they do less frequently when on the road.

The game will tip-off at 10:30 p.m. EST tonight and air nationally on ESPN.

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Tags: Denver Nuggets Oklahoma City Thunder

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