The Oklahoma City Thunder’s 104 – 92 win over the Sacramento Kings Tuesday night marks the team’s 7th straight win in a row, raising the Thunder’s record to a respectable (12-13) after an abysmal starting record of (3-12). The returning presence of guard Russell Westbrook and forward Kevin Durant has catapulted the Thunder back into not only the NBA spotlight, but into the Western Conference playoff race. The Thunder has risen to win nine out of their last ten games, and currently sit half a game behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the 8th and final playoff slot in the Western Conference. While the early season headline was that Oklahoma City would have a tough uphill battle if they still wanted to reach the playoffs this year; the return of the Thunder’s dynamic duo has given the doubters little ammunition for their argument.
The Thunder have a huge match up tonight as the NBA’s hottest team comes into town. They will face the team with the NBA’s best record, the Golden State Warriors (21-3). Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, with the direction of their new coach Steve Kerr, had recently led the Warriors to a 16-game win streak until they lost in Memphis Tuesday night to the Grizzlies. The Thunder hope to extend their own win streak to eight straight.
A point of emphasis will be to see if Steph Curry can get his red-hot shot off under the constant duress and pressure of Westbrook’s defense. Westbrook has been on a tear against the other team’s point guards; constantly a defensive predator while remaining almost un-guardable when attacking the rim. It seemed like Russell made it a point in last weeks match-up with the Cleveland Cavaliers to make his dominance over Kyrie Irving known. Westbrook is averaging 26.4 PPG, 6.8 APG, 5.8 RPG, 1.9 SPG while shooting 49.5% from the floor this season. The Thunder hope his upcoming performance versus Steph Curry tonight follows suit.