NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, November 18th (All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (4-5) at Oklahoma City Thunder (6-3), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder begin a six-game homestand Monday night when the Denver Nuggets visit Chesapeake Energy Arena.
"We just want to move on from (the road trip)," star forward Kevin Durant said. "We're grateful for the opportunity to have six games in a row at home. We'll just try to take care of home court. We have some tough games, so hopefully we do a great job."
OKC halted a two-game losing streak Saturday night with a 92-79 road win over the Milwaukee Bucks. The Thunder did it with defense against an undermanned Bucks team, holding Milwaukee to 34.9 percent shooting, the lowest for an opponent on the season.
"I was really encouraged with our play overall tonight," said reserve forward Nick Collison. "Defensively we were good. It wasn't a game where we shot great and things came easy for us, but I think we played the right way. Defensively we were able to get a lot of stops and lock in in the fourth quarter."
Russell Westbrook led the way for the Thunder with 26 points, followed by 24 from Durant. Serge Ibaka had 15 points and tied a career-high with 20 rebounds. Reggie Jackson added 11 off the bench.
The Thunder only committed 11 turnovers, which was also a season-low.
The Nuggets had a three-game winning streak snapped on Saturday night in Houston. The Rockets bested Denver, 122-111 in a game that saw the Nuggets trail by 17 points at the half.
"It's pretty simple, if you don't defend you are not going to win. We gave up 62 points in the paint, which is unheard of, and we have to put it together ourselves. We gave up three 30 point quarters and you just can't do that and expect to win," said Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw.
The Rockets shot 50.6 percent from the floor and almost 43 percent from the 3- point line. The Nuggets shot 45.5 percent and played well offensively.
Ty Lawson was dynamic with 28 points and a career-high 17 assists. He became the 10th player since 1997 to post that many points and assists in one game and first since Derrick Rose in March of 2011.
J.J. Hickson and Wilson Chandler scored 14 apiece and Evan Fournier chipped in 10 for the second unit. Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov both had 10 rebounds.
The Nuggets return home for two straight, starting on Thursday,
Denver took three of four from the Thunder last season, including a 114-104 victory in Oklahoma City on Mar. 19. The Nuggets have won five of their last eight on the road in this series.
11/18 10:33:59 ET