NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 8th
(All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (45-16) at Charlotte Bobcats (13-48), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Oklahoma City Thunder barely got by with a win their
last time out and hope to make it easier on themselves in Friday's road bout
against the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Thunder squeezed out a 95-94 victory at New York Thursday evening as Kevin
Durant's go-ahead free throws late in the fourth quarter lifted his team past
the Carmelo Anthony-less Knicks. Durant had 34 points, eight rebounds and six
assists, and hit two free throws with 1:38 remaining for the go-ahead points.
"We've been hurt on those game-winners a couple of times this year and we
didn't want that to happen again," Durant said. "So we just had to lock in and
get a stop."
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Martin scored 21 and 16 points, respectively, for
Oklahoma City, which has won three in a row and six of seven games.
Oklahoma City is 18-12 as the guest and second in the West standings -- 2 1/2
games behind the San Antonio Spurs.
Charlotte faces a stiff challenge Friday and is mired in an eight-game slide.
The losing trend continued for the Bobcats on Wednesday in a 99-78 setback to
the Brooklyn Nets. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored a team-high 17 points and Ben
Gordon added 16 points off the bench in defeat.
"I was just trying to put in my part and be active on the boards, and on
offense and defense be active," said Kidd-Gilchrist. "Unfortunately we got the
loss tonight, so that (his performance) doesn't mean anything in my book."
Kemba Walker recorded 10 points and eight assists, and is averaging 17.6
points and 5.9 assists in his last nine games. He has scored 10-plus points
eight times during the stretch.
The Bobcats are winless in four straight at home and sport a 7-23 ledger at
Time Warner Cable Arena this season.
Charlotte was trounced, 114-69, in Oklahoma City on Nov. 26 this season and
has lost four straight and 11 of the 16 meetings between the teams. The
Thunder, though, have lost four of the last six trips to Charlotte.
03/08 10:27:25 ET