COACHING CHANGES EXPANDED MATCHUPS DEPTH CHARTS CURRENT ODDS
NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 24th (All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (32-38) at Oklahoma City Thunder (51-18), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - MVP favorite and NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant had a few days to rest his itchy trigger finger and will lead the Oklahoma City Thunder into Monday's matchup with the Denver Nuggets.
Durant scored 51 points on 15-of-32 shooting in Friday's 119-118 double- overtime win at Toronto and drained the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining. He made 14-of-19 free throws, grabbed 12 rebounds and handed out seven assists.
"We couldn't go to another overtime," said Durant. "I had to live with whatever happened. I wasn't trying to go to another overtime. (I) pulled up for it, it looked good when it left my hands. That was the craziest game I've ever been a part of."
The Thunder trailed by eight with less than a minute to go in the second overtime and used a 9-0 run for the victory.
Durant has scored 25 or more points in 34 straight games, averaging 35.4 points in that time, and has posted 30-plus points in each of the past four contests. He leads the NBA with 32.2 ppg and is closing in on Michael Jordan's mark of 40 straight games with at least 25 points. Jordan turned the trick during the 1986-87 season.
Reggie Jackson posted 25 points and 12 rebounds in the win over the Raptors and helped Oklahoma City to a perfect 3-0 mark on the road trip and its eighth victory in 11 tries.
The Thunder are back at home, where they have a 28-7 record, and sit two games behind the sizzling San Antonio Spurs for the West's top seed. The Spurs have won 13 in a row and face a Philadelphia team that has dropped 24 straight games Monday in the Alamo City.
In injury news for Oklahoma City, guard Russell Westbrook (knee) is questionable versus the Nuggets. He had 15 points against Toronto and has scored that many in each of his last six games.
Denver will play two straight on the road against Oklahoma City and San Antonio, and has lost back-to-back games as the visitor. Denver is 13-22 away from home this season.
The Nuggets are 5-2 in the last seven games overall and posted a 105-102 triumph Sunday against the Washington Wizards, as Kenneth Faried tallied 20 points and eight rebounds, Randy Foye scored 17 points and Darrell Arthur chipped in 125 off the bench.
"We just have to turn to each other; we can't turn against each other," Arthur said. "We have to play hard every game like we did tonight, and no matter how many points we're down just keep fighting, clawing and find a way to win."
Denver took advantage of 24 Washington turnovers and converted them into 30 points. Ty Lawson was limited to nine points and eight assists.
Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler (hip/groin) is doubtful for Monday.
The Nuggets have lost two of three meetings with Northwest Division-rival Oklahoma City this season and are 3-6 in the last nine games at the Thunder.
03/24 10:26:35 ET