NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, January 27th
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (23-20) at Oklahoma City Thunder (35-10), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Philadelphia 76ers broadcaster Malik Rose compared Kevin
Durant's gait to former Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham.
With how much space Durant covers dribbling coast-to-coast, it often resembles
Cunningham slashing through defenses when he donned a wing on his helmet.
Durant is flying quite high right now and looks to keep the Oklahoma City
Thunder rolling Monday versus the Atlanta Hawks.
The Thunder swept a recent three-game road trip and posted their seventh win
in a row Saturday in a 103-91 triumph against the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center
in south Philly. After missing Friday's win in Boston with a balky shoulder,
Durant was back to his usual ways the next night, compiling 32 points, 14
rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double of the season and fifth
of his career.
Durant, the NBA's leading scorer at 31.1 points per game, has scored 30 or
more points in 10 straight games, posting an average of 38.2 ppg in that time.
Durant talked about his day of rest and coming back to help the Thunder
improve to 35-10 on the season.
"I hate sitting out, but it was best for me and my shoulder. I guess that day
off was needed," Durant said.
Serge Ibaka had 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, Nick Collison scored 12
points and Thabo Sefolosha ended with 11 for the Thunder, who will try for
their third eight-game winning streak of the season Monday. The Thunder have
won five straight at home and are 19-3 in the OKC this season.
Durant is averaging 40.8 points per game in his last four at home.
After hosting the Hawks, the Thunder will hit the road against Miami, Brooklyn
and Washington. They'll try not to look beyond the Hawks for Wednesday's
showdown with the Heat in South Beach.
Atlanta has won three of four games and improved to 5-3 in its last eight with
Saturday's 112-87 demolition of the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center.
Paul Millsap was one of six players to score in double figures, as he ended
with 20 points and eight rebounds. Lou Williams netted 18 points and Mike
Scott chipped in 14 for the Hawks, who shot 52.6 percent from the field and
made 13-of-26 3-pointers. Kyle Korver (12), DeMarre Carroll (12) and Elton
Brand (10) rounded out the double-digit scorers.
The Hawks were able to move on from Friday's loss to San Antonio.
"I think this is a tough league and we didn't play well last night. Our group
didn't hang their heads and they moved forward. That's what we talked about.
We want to move forward," Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer said.
Korver was one of three Hawks to sink at least a trip of 3-pointers and has
made at least one in an NBA-record 112 straight games.
Hawks guard Jeff Teague missed the game with a sprained left ankle and is
expected to miss Monday's matchup in Oklahoma City. Teague is averaging 16.2
points and a team-best 7.3 assists.
Atlanta is 8-13 away from home this season and will return to Philips Arena to
host Detroit on Wednesday.
The Hawks lost the first of two meetings with the Thunder this season,
dropping a 101-92 decision on Dec. 10 in the Peach State. Durant filled the
stat sheet with 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in that one for OKC,
which has prevailed in 14 of the last 19 meetings between the teams.
Atlanta has won three of the last five road meetings with the Thunder, who are
averaging 105.3 ppg this season. The Hawks are holding opponents to 101.0 ppg.
01/27 19:45:55 ET