NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 13th (All times eastern)
Milwaukee Bucks (34-47) at Oklahoma City Thunder (55-26), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Oklahoma City Thunder will find out who their first round opponent in the postseason will be when the dust settles on a busy NBA Wednesday, as they put their five-game winning streak to the test at home versus the Milwaukee Bucks.
Oklahoma City, which sits in the fourth slot in the West, is a game behind the Lakers and Mavericks for the No. 2 seed, and can take over the third spot with a win and a Dallas loss tonight versus New Orleans. The Thunder own the tiebreaker over the Mavs because of their Northwest Division title, but lost the season series to the Pacific champion Lakers.
The Thunder have won five in a row and 19 of their previous 23 games, including Monday's 120-112 triumph in Sacramento thanks to Kevin Durant's 32 points and Russell Westbrook's 30. Serge Ibaka tallied 14 points, eight boards and six blocks, while James Harden added 12 points and six rebounds.
"Our toughness is much better," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We're mentally tough and we're getting physically tough."
Brooks' squad is 30-10 as the host and has ripped off six straight victories in Okie City. Harden has scored in double figures in 26 of his last 28 games and is averaging 15.9 ppg since the All-Star break. The Thunder are 24-5 when Durant scores 30 or more points.
Milwaukee came up short in its quest for consecutive trips to the postseason and will close out the 2010-11 campaign Wednesday.
The Bucks have won two straight and three of four games, including a 93-86 triumph over Toronto at the Bradley Center. John Salmons and Brandon Jennings netted 24 and 21 points, respectively, for Milwaukee, which got 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists from Drew Gooden. Gooden was coming off the first triple-double in his career versus Cleveland on Saturday.
"(We played) real good, second half was really good." Jennings said. "We came out with a blast in the second half."
Milwaukee, which used a 15-0 fourth quarter run to beat the Raptors, is without center Andrew Bogut (elbow surgery) and owns a 12-28 mark as the guest this season. Last year, the Bucks beat Boston in the season finale to halt a streak of six consecutive seasons with a loss in the final game.
Oklahoma City defeated Milwaukee, 82-81, on Nov. 20 this season in Brew City on Westbrook's two free throws with 7.3 seconds left. Westbrook ended with 18 points in that one for the Thunder, who have lost four of six overall meetings with the Bucks.
The Bucks have lost 17 of the past 19 road tilts with the Seattle/Oklahoma City franchise.
04/13 11:01:22 ET