OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (50-18)
at MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (45-21)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Memphis -1.5, Total: 191.5
After suffering a rare home loss on Tuesday, the Thunder will be looking to bounce back with a trip to Memphis on Wednesday.
Oklahoma City couldn’t put an end to the Nuggets’ winning streak on Tuesday, losing 114-104, while the Grizzlies won their last game by 15 over the Timberwolves on Monday. These teams have met twice this season with both meetings taking place in Oklahoma City. The Thunder lost the first meeting by 10 points, but won the second by 17. The difference between the two games was the presence of Rudy Gay. In the first meeting between the teams, Memphis won behind 28 points from Gay. In the next game without him, Oklahoma City dominated from the opening tip and Memphis couldn’t get timely buckets, falling 106-89.
Will the Thunder bounce back with a big road win on Wednesday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Brian is 67% ATS (20-10) since Feb. 28, StatFox Gary is also 67% ATS (24-12-1) since Feb. 20 and StatFox Scott is 55% ATS (38-31-1) since Feb. 3. The experts are a collective 55.2% ATS (149-121-3) since February began, and Scott is now 54% ATS (108-92-2) for the season, while Gary is 53.4% ATS (87-76-5) and Brian is 52.4% ATS (109-99-3). For NBA Totals, Gary is a stellar 80% (12-3) since March 7, Brian is 63% (5-3) in his past six days, and Scott is 63% (15-9-3) since Feb. 22 to raise his season record to 57% (91-70-3) in Totals.
The Thunder were excited about the opportunity to end the Nuggets run with a home game in Oklahoma City, but they ultimately couldn’t get that done. The loss wasn’t for a lack of offense, however, as both PG Russell Westbrook and SF Kevin Durant had their usual dominant performances for the Thunder, but they got little else from everybody else. In the game, Durant finished with 34 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Durant was a dreadful 0-for-6 from three, and you have to wonder how different the game could’ve been if he was hitting his shots. Westbrook finished the game with 25 points, six assists and four rebounds, but he too couldn’t hit a three pointer and went 0-for-4 from downtown in the game. The Thunder ended up losing this game due to a lack of balance. Outside of Durant and Westbrook, SG Kevin Martin was the only other player to hit double-digit scoring with 14 points.
The Grizzlies are coming off of a 92-77 victory over the Timberwolves in which their point guard, Mike Conley, played a phenomenal game. Conley finished the game 8-for-14 from the field and 3-of-6 from three. He had 20 points, six assists and two steals in the contest. PF Zach Randolph had a very efficient game for Memphis, going 7-of-11 from the field with 14 points and 10 assists. One player who really made a mark on the game was PF Tayshaun Prince. Prince had 12 points in the game, but it was his 14 rebounds that stood out as he only averages 4.7 RPG on the season. Over the past five games for the Grizzlies, C Marc Gasol has been playing some very good basketball in the post. Over that stretch, Gasol is averaging 16.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 4.4 APG. He is also getting it done defensively recently, averaging 2.2 BPG and 1.4 SPG over that stretch.