It’s an inter-conference clash in the Big Apple. The Oklahoma City Thunder are on the road again as they face the New York Knicks Saturday night. Oklahoma City was in action on the road Friday night as they faced the 76ers. New York won their third straight as they edged the Nets 111-104 on the road Thursday night. The Knicks have a narrow 65-64 edge in the all-time regular season series between the teams but the Thunder have won the last four meetings, including a 105-84 win at home in the first meeting this season on October 19.
Oklahoma City Thunder Closes Three Game Trip
Oklahoma City played the middle game of their three game road trip with a stop in the City of Brotherly Love. The Thunder closes their three game road trip here before returning home. Oklahoma City entered Friday’s action eighth in the Western Conference, 9.5 games behind the Rockets for the top spot. The Thunder are three games behind the Timberwolves for the lead in the Northwest Division and held a narrow half-game edge over the Jazz for the final playoff spot entering Friday. Oklahoma City is 4-10 on the road and 6-5 against Eastern Conference foes this season.
The Thunder is mediocre offensively this season as they are 24th with an average of 101.7 points per game. Oklahoma City is 14th in the league in rebounding with 43.7 boards per contest. The Thunder is 25th in assists with 20.8 per game. Oklahoma City is 3rd in the league in scoring defense as they allow 99.4 points a night. Carmelo Anthony is third on the Thunder with 17.7 points plus 6.4 boards a night. Russell Westbrook contributes a team leading 22.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 9.9 assists and two steals per game. Paul George adds 20.3 points plus 5.6 boards and 2.44 steals a contest and Steven Adams chips in 14 points plus 8.7 boards a night. Jerian Grant, Andre Roberson, Raymond Felton, Alex Abrines and Patrick Patterson have to make their presence known on both ends. Oklahoma City is 29th in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 43.5 percent from the floor. The Thunder is 19th with 10.2 made threes per game and stands tied for 26th in three point shooting at 34.3 percent.
New York Knicks Seek Fourth Straight Win
New York has won three straight and actually picked up a rare road win as they beat the crosstown Nets Thursday night. The Knicks look to keep that momentum going as they play here. New York led by six after the opening quarter and by 13 at the half: they withstood a second half charge by the Nets, even without Kristaps Porzingis, to get the win. The Knicks shot 46.1 percent from the field and drilled 10 of 20 three point attempts in the contest. New York limited Brooklyn to 44.6 percent shooting, including 12 of 42 from long range. Courtney Lee had 27 points to lead the Knicks in the win.
The Knicks are 17th in the league in scoring as they average 104.6 points per game. New York is 12th in the league in rebounding with 44.3 boards per contest while standing 9th with 23.1 assists per game. The Knicks are 13th in scoring defense as they allow 104 points per game. Kristaps Porzingis averages 25.5 points, 6.6 boards and 2.08 blocks a night to lead the team. Enes Kanter chips in 13.4 points plus 10.3 rebounds per night, Tim Hardaway Jr. adds 17.8 points a contest while Kyle O’Quinn chips in 6.3 points plus 6.3 rebounds per contest. Hardaway Jr. is out at least the next two weeks with a stress injury in his left leg. Ramon Sessions, Courtney Lee (13.2 points), Doug McDermott, Ron Baker, Michael Beasley, Jarrett Jack and rookie Frank Ntilikina have to contribute for the Knicks to have any success. The Knicks are 8th in field goal percentage as they shoot 47.1 percent as a team. New York is tied for 29th with 8.1 threes per game while ranking 19th in three point shooting as they hit 35.9 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
- Thunder are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Thunder are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 road games
- Thunder are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games overall
- Knicks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 1 day of rest
- Knicks are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. Western Conference
Oklahoma City is going to be a bit worn out after playing Philadelphia Friday night in a game that as of this writing, was headed to a third overtime. The Thunder wilted in the final minutes of regulation when they could have put the game away and now has the extra grind of at least 15 more minutes on their slate. New York has some momentum with three straight wins. Porzingis may or may not play here but the Knicks are rolling: playing at home, look for them to stick it to Anthony and the Thunder.
Pick: New York Knicks
New York is playing well and you know that the Knicks will be motivated to show Anthony that they have moved on and had success without him. The Knicks have three straight wins and if Porzingis can shake off his sore knee to play, they’ll be in even better shape. Oklahoma City is scuffling right now: they led by 11 with under 5:30 to play in regulation against the 76ers but failed to generate another point to end up in overtime, where they still were as of this posting. That kind of extra workload is going to add stress and fatigue to a team, especially one playing their second game in less than 24 hours.
The under is 4-0 in the Thunder’s last four against Atlantic Division opponents, 5-1 in their last six on the road against teams with a winning home record, 10-2 in their last 12 against Eastern Conference foes and 5-1 in their last six against teams with a winning record. New York has seen the under go 4-1 in their last five against teams with a losing record and 6-2 in their last eight at home. The teams have stayed under the total in five of their last seven meetings: given the way things have been of late, this one likely follows suit.