The Oklahoma City Thunder are back on the road tonight as they search for their 10th straight win vs. the Brooklyn Nets.
The Thunder and Nets met once already this season on Jan. 2. The Thunder blew a big fourth quarter lead and were outscored 29-16 in the final period as the Nets went on to win 95-93 on a Joe Johnson buzzer-beater.
Kevin Durant scored 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting in what was the first game of his month of January in which he has averaged overall 36.6 points per game on 53.9 percent shooting.
This was only the fourth game for the Thunder since Westbrook’s surgery and OKC has been looking much better of late.
Brooklyn is in the bottom half of the league when it comes to nearly every single team statistical category. On paper and especially given the way that the Thunder have been playing lately, the Thunder should be able to come away with the win.
Over their last 10 games however, the Nets are 8-2 making them one of the hottest teams in the league.
According to Synergy Sports, the one area where Brooklyn may have an advantage on offense is in the post, although that number is largely due to what Brook Lopez did when he was in the lineup. The Nets have the worst defense in terms of points per possession against spot-up plays and they are 20th and 22nd against isolation plays and pick-and-roll plays, respectively.
There is of course the theory of a letdown game for OKC, who is coming off a 112-95 win over the Miami Heat in their last game.
The key for the Thunder tonight will be simply put, execution and playing a full game. The Nets are solid and any kind of major lapse could give them a window to beat the Thunder.
Being that the loss to the Nets is so fresh in the minds of the Thunder, I think they are up for tonight and ensure that they do enough to avoid another loss to this team.
The game will tip off at 7 p.m. CST and air nationally on ESPN.