NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 9th
(All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (27-8) at Denver Nuggets (17-17), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After an eight-game losing streak, the Denver Nuggets
have won three straight, but will face a stiff challenge Thursday night when
the Oklahoma City Thunder head to the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets haven't looked back after the disastrous run over the holidays.
They snapped the slide at home against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday,
throttled the Los Angeles Lakers in Hollywood on Sunday, then squashed the
Boston Celtics by 31 at home on Tuesday.
Randy Foye had 23 points, Ty Lawson scored 19 with 13 assists and the Nuggets
led wire-to-wire in a 129-98 rout of the Celtics. Kenneth Faried added 21
points and 13 rebounds and J.J. Hickson scored 17 for the Nuggets.
Denver coach Brian Shaw received two technical fouls and was ejected with 2:43
left in the third for arguing with officials during a timeout while his team
was up by 28.
"We punish criers. We don't cry," he said. "Fortunately for us, it wasn't a
situation where it cost us."
Denver's starting backcourt has been on a tear of late. Foye is 11-for-20 from
3-point range during the winning streak and Lawson has recorded four
Wilson Chandler (strained left groin) and Nate Robinson (sprained right ankle)
sat out practice on Wednesday and are listed as game-time decisions.
The Thunder had a two-game winning streak and eight-game road winning streak
snapped on Tuesday with a 112-101 setback in Salt Lake City to the Utah Jazz.
OKC has now dropped three of its last five.
Kevin Durant tied an NBA season-high with 48 points to add to his seven
boards, five assists and four steals, and Reggie Jackson added another 20
points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals for the Thunder in their
fifth road loss of the season.
They were the only two Thunder players in double figures.
"We fought but we can't play for just one quarter," Durant said. "We didn't
have toughness tonight. Too many mental mistakes from everybody and they
capitalized on it. You give a team confidence, they're going to have it the
The Thunder's eight straight road victories entering the game was the longest
for the franchise since Jan. 24-Feb. 27, 2002.
Serge Ibaka didn't play against the Jazz due to flu-like symptoms and he's
listed as day-to-day.
The Thunder won the first two of this season's matchups -- one in Denver and
one in Oklahoma City. Those wins snapped a three-game series losing streak for
the Thunder, who have lost nine of their last 12 in the Mile High City.
01/09 10:26:41 ET