Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Where to watch: Bally Sports Oklahoma, YES
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Nets -9
BetMGM: Nets -9.5
Caesars: Nets -9.5
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Nets - Thunder preview and analysis
Nets: won seven of eight; won 120-112 at Pelicans on Friday
Thunder: won four straight; won 105-103 vs. Kings
I bet you didn’t think we would be talking about a game between two of the hottest teams in the NBA right now, that being the Brooklyn Nets and … Oklahoma City Thunder?
Yes, the pesky, young Thunder have won four straight games and are looking like a tough out for a group that was expected to be in the lottery. They likely will, but let’s focus on the here and now.
And right now, the Thunder are welcoming former OKC stalwarts Kevin Durant and James Harden back to the building where they reached some of their most ultimate success.
The Thunder are coming off a thrilling two-point win Friday against the Sacramento Kings. Lu Dort stole the ball off Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox and drove for the game-winning layup to propel this great start for OKC.
"I was just trying to stay in front of him," Dort said about guarding Fox. "I mean, I didn't really move my hand that much, he just kind of just lost the ball and I just took it, and then I had to go up strong. I knew there was not that much time left and I had to go and finish."
Thunder coach Mark Daigneault has got a young, scrappy group that has gone up against some of the top teams in the league. They have a cornerstone in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to build around for the foreseeable future and he’s off to a stellar start with 22.5 points and 4.4 assists. Dort is also off to a strong start at 15 points and 4.2 rebounds per game; not to mention the hot start from first-round pick Josh Giddey as an all-around contributor.
Oklahoma City is not a scoring threat. The offense puts up 99.6 points per game, but the defense is going to be put to the test in this matchup with Brooklyn.
We’re not quite sure what that entails for a potential reunion or actual road crowd applause for Durant and Harden come to town, but we’d like to think such things have subsided to where hostilities will not be had.
The Nets only won by eight points on Friday against a banged-up New Orleans Pelicans team, but Friday was the first game we’ve seen from Brooklyn’s star power.
James Harden had a season-high 39 points to go with 12 assists in what could potentially be the coming-out party for him this season. Kevin Durant had an efficient 28 points (11 of 17) to go with eight assists and seven rebounds, while Joe Harris chipped in with 24 points.
"We were able to take that nice little haymaker and keep pushing," Durant said in regards to the Pelicans almost coming back from 21 points down. "I think they found something that was working more so than us just playing down to their record."
Given how well the Thunder have played, getting the nine points doesn’t seem like a bad idea. If Kyrie Irving were playing, this might be a blowout, but it’s still a fun problem to have. Harden is clearly on a roll and another good game could get the Nets rolling with this apex potential. Nets by 13
The Nets are 3-4 ATS on the road this season.
The Thunder are 5-0 this season ATS as a dog between 3.5 and 9.5 points.
The Thunder are 6-0 ATS following four or more straight unders.
Projected starting lineup
PG: James Harden
SG: Joe Harris
SF: Bruce Brown
PF: Kevin Durant
C: Blake Griffin
PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG: Luguentz Dort
SF: Josh Giddey
PF: Darius Bazley
C: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
Points: Kevin Durant -- 29.4
Rebounds: Kevin Durant -- 8.4
Assists: James Harden -- 9.0
Points: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander -- 22.5
Rebounds: Darius Bazley -- 6.9
Assists: Josh Giddey -- 6.1
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