Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC Thunder: Game #43 Preview | Trail Blazers

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

Tip-Off: 8 PM CT

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, OK)

Television: Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

The Oklahoma City Thunder (23-19) dropped a third straight home game Friday night in a 115-108 loss to the Miami Heat (29-12). Despite the return of Nerlens Noel, the Thunder was missing Steven Adams, and the lack of big men to protect the paint made it easy for Miami to get points down low. It also created space, which allowed the Heat to knock down threes.

It is unknown at this time whether or not Adams will be available for tonight’s home matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers (18-25). Whether or not Adams plays will be a major key to how the Thunder plays on both ends of the floor, but the Blazers are dealing with a key injury as well.

In last night’s 120-112 loss to the Dallas Mavericks (27-15), the Blazers saw CJ McCollum leave the game with a left sprained ankle. He has torched the Thunder over the last few years, so if he’s forced to sit tonight, OKC can focus more attention on superstar point guard Damian Lillard.

No matter who plays tonight, the Thunder needs to get back on the winning track, and the key to doing that is refocusing on defense. OKC has allowed far too many points, particularly early in games, against opponents over the last week, and tonight would be a great time to start a new winning streak.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Chris Paul
  • SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • SF: Hamidou Diallo
  • PF: Darius Bazley
  • C: Steven Adams

Blazers

  • PG: Damian Lillard
  • SG: Gary Trent Jr.
  • SF: Mario Hezonja
  • PF: Carmelo Anthony
  • C: Hassan Whiteside

Injuries

Thunder

  • Steven Adams (right knee contusion) is QUESTIONABLE.
  • Luguentz Dort (G League – Two Way) is OUT.
  • Terrance Ferguson (illness) is OUT.
  • Danilo Gallinari (rest) is OUT.
  • Abdel Nader (left ankle sprain) is OUT.
  • Andre Roberson (return to play management) is OUT.

Blazers

  • Zach Collins (dislocated left shoulder) is OUT.
  • Rodney Hood (ruptured left achilles) is OUT.
  • Skal Labissiere (left knee inflammation) is OUT.
  • CJ McCollum (left ankle sprain) is OUT.
  • Jusuf Nurkic (fractured left leg) is OUT.

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 23-24 (13-10 at home, 10-14 on the road) against the Trail Blazers in the regular season and 1-4 (1-1 at home, 0-3 on the road) in the playoffs.
  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Trail Blazers 4 times, lost it 5 times, and tied twice.
  • The Thunder swept the Blazers 4-0 last year in the regular season (2-0 at home, 2-0 on the road), but OKC fell to Portland 1-4 in the playoffs (1-1 at home, 0-3 on the road).
  • The Thunder is 1-2 (0-1 at home, 1-1 on the road) against the Blazers so far this season.

Game Notes

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