Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers (+5, 214)
The Los Angeles Lakers try to avoid their first six-game losing streak in almost six years when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. Los Angeles has not lost six straight it dropped seven in a row from March 2-15, 2007. After ending December with their sixth win in seven games, the Lakers have yet to post a victory this month. They dropped a 108-105 decision to the Spurs in San Antonio on Wednesday for their fifth straight defeat.
Oklahoma City enters a half-game behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the league's best record. It posted its third win in four games Wednesday as it defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-84. The Thunder are beginning a string of three straight games on the road, where they are a pedestrian 9-5 as opposed to their 18-3 mark at home.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN (Oklahoma City), TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles), ESPN
ABOUT THE THUNDER (27-8, 21-13-1 ATS): Russell Westbrook is looking to extend his consecutive games streak to 348, the longest active games played streak. Kevin Durant ranks third in the league in scoring with an average of 28.1 points. Oklahoma City is 6-0 when Durant scores at least 35 points. The Thunder are the NBA's top 3-point shooting team through 35 games as they have made 267 of 668 attempts. Westbrook and Durant form the highest-scoring pair of teammates in the league. The duo currently is averaging 49.9 points.
ABOUT THE LAKERS (15-20, 14-20-1 ATS): Los Angeles could get a little healthier Friday. Dwight Howard (shoulder) and Jordan Hill (hip) remain sidelined, but Pau Gasol has yet to be ruled out. Gasol already has missed two games with a concussion. Kobe Bryant still leads the league with an average of 30.1 points. But by his standards, he's in a bit of a scoring slump. After scoring at least 30 points in 12 of 13 games, the superstar has failed to reach the mark in each of his last three contests as he has tallied 29, 20 and 27 points. With 10,653 field goals made, Bryant is seven away from passing Alex English for eighth place on the all-time list.
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Los Angeles.
* Thunder are 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Los Angeles.
* Road team is 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
1. The Thunder drew first blood in the four-game season series, posting a 114-108 victory at home on Dec. 7.
2. Los Angeles has posted its worst 35-game start since also beginning the 2002-03 season with a 15-20 record.
3. Oklahoma City is 14-0 when five or more players score in double figures.