COACHING CHANGES EXPANDED MATCHUPS DEPTH CHARTS CURRENT ODDS
NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 27th (All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (23-5) at Charlotte Bobcats (14-15), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder target their seventh straight road win Friday against an inferior Charlotte Bobcats squad.
The Thunder took both meetings with Charlotte last season and have won five straight and seven of the last eight meetings between the teams. However, the Bobcats have prevailed in four of the past seven as the host in this series.
Oklahoma City has proven to be one of the best teams in the NBA once again with a 23-5 mark. It has won 18 of its last 20 games and handed the New York Knicks a 123-94 defeat on Christmas Day.
The Knicks, who played without star Carmelo Anthony, lost every quarter and gave up 67 points to Kevin Durant (29), Russell Westbrook (14) and Serge Ibaka (24). Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb scored 18 and 13 points, respectively, for the Thunder, who shot 53.6 percent for the game and made 13-of-24 from beyond the arc.
"I just know that if we play the way we play, team basketball, Thunder basketball, not too many teams that can beat us," said Westbrook, who added 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his third career triple-double.
No Thunder starter appeared in the game during the fourth quarter.
After visiting Charlotte, the Thunder, who are 10-4 as the guest, will open a three-game homestand versus Houston, Portland and Brooklyn.
The Bobcats have been playing better ball lately with six wins in their last 10 games and will end a three-game homestand Friday.
Charlotte won for the fourth time in the last five games with Monday's 111-110 overtime triumph versus Milwaukee.
Kemba Walker flirted with a triple-double, scoring 25 points to go along with 10 assists and nine rebounds. Walker scored seven of his team's 10 points in the extra period and his two free throws put Charlotte up 111-108 with 1.6 seconds remaining in the game.
Al Jefferson had a season-high 26 points with nine rebounds for the Bobcats, who have come back from deficits of at least 16 points to win in three of their last four games.
"We came out in overtime and made enough plays to win," Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford said.
Walker has scored 20 points or more in six consecutive games, the longest streak of his career. Jefferson has recorded double-doubles in three of the past four games.
The Bobcats, who are 8-9 as the host, have a five-game road trip scheduled to begin Saturday against Atlanta, Utah, the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland and Sacramento.
12/27 10:29:36 ET