Tip-Off: 9 PM CT
Location: Moda Center (Portland, Oregon)
Television: Bally Sports Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live-tweets and discussion during the game
The Oklahoma City Thunder looked much more like the expected tanking team that they are last night as they suffered a scorching 140-103 loss to the Phoenix Suns. There is no rest for the weary, however, as tonight they travel all the way to Portland where they will take on the Portland Trail Blazers.
Despite dealing with continual injuries to key players like CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkić, the Blazers have had a fairily successful season so far. At 29-19, the Blazers owe much of their success to Damian Lillard, who is a legit MVP candidate. Lillard is averaging just under 30 points per game, 7.8 assists per game, and 4.3 rebounds per game, all while shooting 38.1% from downtown on 11 attempts per game.
At 114.8 points per game, the Blazers have one of the highest-scoring offenses in the NBA, but they allow 115.4 points per game, which is 27th in the league. Despite allowing more points than they score on average, Portland continues to find a way to win. 9 of their 19 losses have been by 15+ points, but they also have 6 wins by 18+ points.
Needless to say, the Blazers are really a tale of two teams. Now that they are back at full strength, I would not anticipate too many blowout losses, and when the Thunder has such an inexperienced and youthful roster, don’t expect Portland to fold on this one. Still, OKC’s young guns also know how to find a way to win games, so maybe they can rebound from the loss to the Suns last night with a victory in Portland.
- PG: Théo Maledon
- SG: Svi Mykhailiuk
- SF: Aleksej Pokuševski
- PF: Isaiah Roby
- C: Moses Brown
- PG: Damian Lillard
- SG: CJ McCollum
- SF: Norman Powell
- PF: Robert Covington
- C: Jusuf Nurkić
- Darius Bazley is OUT (left shoulder contusion).
- Luguentz Dort is OUT (concussion protocol).
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is OUT (plantar fascitis in right foot).
- Ty Jerome is OUT (sprained right ankle).
- Mike Muscala is OUT (sprained right ankle).
- Zach Collins is OUT (left ankle stress fracture).
- Nassir Little is OUT (sprained right thumb).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 25-25 (14-11 at home, 11-14 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 3 times.
- The Thunder went 2-2 (1-1 at home, 1-1 on the road) against the Blazers last season.
- The Thunder is 1-1 (0-1 at home, 1-0 on the road) against the Blazers so far this season.