USA Today Sports

NBA TNT doubleheader: Grizzlies at Thunder, Mavs at Warriors

Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder (-8, 191.5)

The Oklahoma City Thunder have revenge on their minds as they prepare to host the revamped Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday. The Thunder opened a double-digit lead in their last encounter Nov. 14, only to get outscored 36-14 in the second quarter en route to a 107-97 defeat. They'll face a Grizzlies club that made a major trade Wednesday night, shipping Rudy Gay to Toronto while acquiring Ed Davis from the Raptors and Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye from Detroit.

The move was designed to allow Memphis to remain competitive while reducing its salary cap burden. The departure of Gay leaves a void the Grizzlies hope Prince will fill, while Davis and Daye are expected to provide depth behind Prince and incumbent power forward Zach Randolph.  They'll face a well-rested Thunder team that hasn't hit the court since dropping a 105-96 decision to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. The defeat concluded a 3-3 road trip for Oklahoma City, which included narrow losses to Denver and Golden State.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (29-15, 26-17-1 ATS): Rumblings had persisted for days that Gay would be moved out of Memphis, where he had spent his first six-plus seasons. The move finally came to fruition Wednesday night, giving the Grizzlies added depth and allowing them to shed Gay's $16.46-million salary. Gay took to Twitter to thank Memphis fans for their support. "Thanks to the fans and my teammates in Memphis for the memories," he wrote. "Came in a 19 year old kid now leaving a 26 year old man ... thank you!" The Grizzlies remain very much in the hunt for the Southeast Division crown, just 5 1/2 games back of first-place San Antonio.

ABOUT THE THUNDER (34-11, 26-17-2 ATS):
Oklahoma City suffered numerous lapses during its ho-hum West Coast trek, and head coach Scott Brooks wouldn't use the grueling trip as an excuse for his team's uneven performance. "It was a long road trip, but everybody has the same amount of road games," Brooks told the Oklahoman. " It's not like we're the only team that had a long road trip." Teams exposed the Thunder's shaky defense, which was torched for an average of 106 points during the six-game trek - a stretch that increased Oklahoma City's season points against average from 95.9 to 97.3

TRENDS:

* Over is 19-7 in the last 26 meetings in Oklahoma City.
* Over is 19-7 in the last 26 meetings.
* Road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. Thunder superstar Kevin Durant averages 27.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in 18 career games against the Grizzlies.

2. Gay averaged 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and two assists in 479 career games with Memphis.

3. Oklahoma City has won six of the past nine meetings but has dropped the previous two, both at home.

Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors (-4, 208)

The Golden State Warriors salvaged the final two games of their road trip despite being without a slew of key contributors. They are hoping to have some of those players back when they return home to host the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut and Carl Landry all sat out on Tuesday, but the Warriors leaned on Klay Thompson, David Lee and Jarrett Jack to pull out an easy win in Cleveland.

The Mavericks suffered a crushing loss on Tuesday but have been playing well of late with six wins in the last nine games. Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 26 points in the last game and is slowly regaining his form after sitting out the first eight weeks with a knee injury. Dallas did not have the depth to completely make up for Nowitzki’s absence but the Warriors have several players they can go to for scoring when one or more players have to sit out. Thompson’s 32 points on Tuesday marked a career high.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (19-26, 25-20-0 ATS): Nowitzki’s presence has helped the entire offense for Dallas, which has put up 109.4 points over the last nine games. Nowitzki hit a go-ahead 3-pointer late at Portland on Tuesday but LaMarcus Aldridge responded at the other end and O.J. Mayo was called for a charge with 1.5 seconds left, allowing the Trail Blazers to score the winning basket. Each of the Mavericks’ three losses in the last nine games have come against strong playoff contenders in Portland, Oklahoma City and San Antonio, and each has come down to the last few possessions. As well as the offense has played, the defense has been equally as poor. Dallas ranks near the bottom of the NBA in points allowed and was outscored 62-45 in the second half of the Portland loss.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (28-17, 26-18-1 ATS):
Golden State sat Bogut (ankle) on the second night of a back-to-back Tuesday for precautionary reasons after he had made a strong return from a 38-game absence the previous night. Curry (ankle), Barnes (calf) and Landry (shoulder) were each hurt in the win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday. None of the injuries appeared serious at the time, but all three are being monitored and the players are listed as day-to-day. Curry, who has been downgraded to doubtful, torched the Mavericks for 31 points and nine assists in a 105-101 overtime win at Dallas on Nov. 19, while Barnes added 20 points and 12 rebounds in that victory. The Warriors hit each of their first nine 3-point attempts against the Cavaliers while Jack and Thompson spread the floor. That opened the inside for Lee, who recorded his 19th game of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds while also chipping in eight assists. Lee, who was named an All-Star reserve last week, has recorded three straight double-doubles with at least five assists in each game.

TRENDS:

* Over is 7-2 in the last nine meetings in Golden State.
* Mavericks are 4-11 ATS in the last 15 meetings in Golden State.
* Road team is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings.
* Mavericks are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings.

BUZZER BEATERS:


1. Dallas C Chris Kaman (concussion) sat out Tuesday and has been ruled out indefinitely.

2. Lee leads the NBA with 29 double-doubles.

3. Nowitzki has averaged 22.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in 51 career games against Golden State.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for our Editorial Team, please contact us at Editorial

            share   SHARE   rss   RSS FEED   email   EMAIL   print   PRINT

There haven't been any comments posted on this article. Be the first to respond!

You are currently not logged in.
Login | Signup | Help
You must be logged in to post a comment.

Top Response

There have been no comments on this article. Be the first to respond!