Thunder at 76ers
The Oklahoma City Thunder lost for just the second time in 10 games on Friday, when their offense finally failed to overcome the defense. The Thunder have allowed 106.0 points in their last five games but have been strong enough offensively to make up for it most of the time. The Philadelphia 76ers, who lead the NBA in scoring defense, will try to make sure Oklahoma City stumbles again on Saturday.
The 76ers have held their last five opponents under 100 points but had a three-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday when they could not get the offense to match up with the defense in a 92-83 loss at Cleveland. Philadelphia might be able to hold Kevin Durant and the Thunder under 100 points but it is almost certainly going to have to find more than 82 points to avoid back-to-back losses. Oklahoma City has been held under 84 points only once since the beginning of last season.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Oklahoma (Oklahoma City), Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
ABOUT THE THUNDER (9-4): Durant scored 29 points and Russell Westbrook added 26 but Oklahoma City allowed the Boston Celtics to hit 9 of 17 3-point attempts in a 108-100 loss on Friday. The Thunder have yet to drop back-to-back games this season but have been slowed by strong defensive teams like San Antonio, Atlanta and Memphis. Durant has been at his best of late, averaging 30.0 points in the last five games, but was held to a season-low three rebounds in Boston on Friday. Westbrook is at 26.3 points over the last three contests.
ABOUT THE 76ERS (7-5): Philadelphia is allowing an average of 90.1 points but has scored only 89.8 - 28th in the NBA. After matching a season high with 106 points in a home win over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, the 76ers slumped against one of the worst defenses in the league at the Cavaliers. Philadelphia shot just 36 percent from the field in the loss. The one consistent piece in the offense has been point guard Jrue Holiday, who is averaging 18.8 points on 45.4 percent shooting while handing out 8.4 assists.
1. Oklahoma City has taken six straight in the series, including a 92-88 victory at Philadelphia in the lone meeting last season.
2. Westbrook has averaged 17.3 points and 9.4 assists in seven career games against the 76ers.
3. Philadelphia guard Jason Richardson is averaging 16.3 points in six games since returning to the lineup after a four-game absence due to a sprained ankle.