NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 2nd (All times Eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (27-31) at Oklahoma City Thunder (44-15), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder halted a shocking losing streak last time out and will try to build on the recent success Sunday night when they host the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Thunder dropped three straight home games for the first time since 2009, but got back on track with a 113-107 win over the Memphis Grizzlies Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Kevin Durant netted 30 of his 37 points in the second half as the Thunder held off the Grizzlies. Russell Westbrook tallied 21 points and six assists, while Serge Ibaka provided 16 points and nine rebounds for Oklahoma City.
"We played better defense but we still gave up way too many points," OKC head coach Scott Brooks said. "We had the 16-point lead in the fourth quarter and relaxed so we still have a lot of work to do."
Reggie Jackson added 14 points off the bench for the Thunder, who won for the first time this season without center Kendrick Perkins in the starting lineup. Perkins will miss six weeks after groin surgery.
The Thunder host the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday to close the homestand, then head west for two games.
The Bobcats began a brutal three-game road trip with a 10-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday. They will visit the two-time defending champion Miami Heat on Monday.
The 10-point loss to the Spurs was not indicative of how close the game was.
The game was tied 80-80 with three minutes to go, but San Antonio just played solid basketball down the stretch.
"We made too many mistakes," said Al Jefferson. "We were getting back and made them go against a set defense. We kind of got away from that and one thing about San Antonio, we have to go play for 48 minutes."
Jefferson finished with 20 points and seven rebounds for Charlotte, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. Gary Neal deposited 15 points in his first game action for the Bobcats and Gerald Henderson added 12 points.
Josh McRoberts recorded a game-high 10 assists in defeat.
Charlotte shot a terrible 3-for-17 from long range, but the Bobcats can take solace in knowing they held the Spurs to just 14 first-quarter points, a season-low for San Antonio.
The Thunder have won six straight against the Bobcats, including a four-point victory in Charlotte on Dec. 27. The Bobcats have never won in five tries in Oklahoma City.
03/02 17:11:27 ET