The Thunder enter the weekend in seventh place in the Western Conference standings with a 23-19 overall record. Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture in the West. Portland trails the Memphis Grizzlies in 2.5-games for the No. 8-seed in the Western Conference but the Trail Blazers still have plenty of work to do after winning just 18 of their first 43 contests. Can Portland get back on the winning track at home against the Thunder on Saturday night?
Thunder fall short vs. HeatThe Thunder came up short at home against the Miami Heat on Friday night despite 27 points from Danilo Gallinari. Dennis Shroder came off the bench to finish with 18 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in a losing effort for the Thunder, who trailed by as many as 22 points with just over 8 minutes remaining before making a late run. Shooting guard Terrance Ferguson left the game ill and did not return.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is so damn smooth🔥pic.twitter.com/wxoUzlEo0x— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 12, 2020
Oklahoma City was without starting center Steven Adams, who left Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors with a right knee contusion. Nerlens Noel missed the previous game with a knee injury but took Adams’ spot in the starting lineup against the Heat, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
Over their last 15 games, the Thunder have been displaying some growth on both ends of the floor. They’ve won 12 of their last 15 contests while flashing improvement in some key areas. During that span, they rank 12th in the league with a 111.6 offensive rating and 11th on the defensive end with a 108.9 mark.
Trail Blazers lose McCollum to sprained anklePortland fell on the road 120-112 in Dallas versus the Mavericks on Friday night. Damian Lillard played through an illness in the loss, scoring 33 points and dishing out 10 assists in the loss. Carmelo Anthony added 22 points while Hassan Whiteside chipped in 21 points and 18 rebounds for Portland, which shot 9-for-30 from beyond the arc on the night.
The Trail Blazers also lost shooting guard C.J. McCollum, who exited the game with a sprained left ankle. McCollum was injured after landing on the foot of Dallas forward Maxi Kleber in the second quarter. He is second on the team in scoring at 21.9 points and 3.8 assists per game.
A lack of frontcourt depth has really hurt the Trail Blazers this season. Hassan Whiteside is currently the only player taller than 6-foot-8 on the current roster, making it difficult for Portland to make up for injuries to Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, and Skal Labassiere. That has some people calling for the Trail Blazers to make a move as they try to contend for a playoff spot. Former Trail Blazer and current Utah Jazz center Ed Davis has been one of the names mentioned as a potential trade candidate.
- Trail Blazers are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Trail Blazers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
- Trail Blazers are 1-7-3 ATS in their last 11 Saturday games.
- Thunder are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Thunder are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a home underdog.
- Thunder are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall.