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
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