Game: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Lakers
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Thunder +7, Lakers -7
Last night, Oklahoma City allowed the Golden State Warriors, who were playing without Stephen Curry, to score 141 points against them. The Thunder gave up a total of 26 three-pointers, with Klay Thompson accounting for 12 of those. They will have to try to make amends tonight against the Lakers.
That will be easier said than done. The Thunder are on the second night of a back-to-back and are playing on the road. Plus, Oklahoma City has only won three of the last 11 games they have played against Los Angeles. There is a chance that LeBron James breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record. The trash talking has already begun, with OKC’s Josh Giddey stating that there is no way LeBron will break the scoring record tonight. Given the Thunder’s recent defense, they may not be able to back up Giddey’s statement.
All eyes will be on James in this game as he is only 36 points away from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. The Lakers have just returned home after a 5-game road trip during which they went 2-3 straight up and against the spread. That seems doable, but if it doesn’t happen tonight, it most likely will on Thursday against Milwaukee.
The Lakers are currently ranked 13th in the Western Conference and are 1.5 games behind the 10th-seeded Jazz and a play-in tournament spot. A win tonight is absolutely crucial for the Lakers. In their last 12 games as the favorite, they have a record of 9-3 SU. Against OKC, they have only covered the spread once in their last seven home games.
The point spread for tonight’s game is set at 7, which might appear to be a bit high; however, the Lakers have won the last two meetings by double digits. Los Angeles won the last two against the Thunder by 19 and 21 points.
Tonight’s matchup could be another high-scoring affair, though the last three head-to-head meetings all went Under the total. Both teams have put up combined totals of more than 237.5 (tonight’s total) in three of their last five games. Both teams also like to play at a fast pace. At 104 and 103.7 possessions per game, LA and OKC rank second and third in the NBA in possessions per game.
The teams have also struggled to defend the paint. Oklahoma City has given up an average of 60 paint points per game over their last three games. The Lakers have given up 56.7 paint points in their last three.
While the Lakers have had trouble against the number, the Thunder are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games. Against the Lakers, OKC is 8-4 ATS in the last 12 games. The total has gone Over in four of the Thunder’s last six games, but the Under is 4-1 in the team’s last five road games. Keep in mind the Thunder are playing the second of a back-to-back and they are 2-4 SU in this situation this season.
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