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Thunder at Nuggets: What bettors need to know

Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets (+2.5, 207)

The Oklahoma City Thunder are streaking and look for their seventh consecutive victory when they visit the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. Oklahoma City has won 14 of its past 15 games and the 19-4 start ties for second-best in franchise history, topped only by the 1993-94 Seattle SuperSonics’ 20-3 run. Denver has won 10 of its last 13 games and has also been victorious in seven of its last eight home games.

Oklahoma City posted a 115-113 home victory over the Nuggets on Nov. 18 in a contest that still frustrated Denver coach Brian Shaw. The Nuggets missed 18 free throws and allowed the Thunder to collect 19 rebounds. “To a team of that caliber, there’s no way you can do that and expect to come close to winning a game,” Shaw told reporters after Monday’s practice. “We made that evident to our guys.” Thunder forward Kevin Durant scored 38 points in that contest and running mate Russell Westbrook added 30.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Oklahoma (Oklahoma City), Altitude (Denver)

LINE: The Thunder opened as 2-point faves and have been bet to -2.5. The total currently sits at 207.

COVERS POWER RANKINGS:
Oklahoma City (-13) - Denver (-8.8) + home court (-3) = Oklahoma City -1.2

ABOUT THE THUNDER (19-4, 13-10 ATS): Durant was 11-of-18 shooting for 28 points in Sunday’s victory over Orlando but his high standards – and even loftier expectations – didn’t allow him to feel satisfied. “I’m one of those guys who wants to make every shot,” Durant said afterward. “I feel I can go back and watch and see the shots I missed and try to correct and look at my footwork and see how I can make those shots.” Durant has made over 60 percent of his shots in four of the last six games – shooting a torrid 58.7 during the stretch – and has scored below 20 points just three times in 23 games.

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (14-9, 12-11 ATS): Denver is five games above. 500 in the tough Western Conference but there are still a lot of people unsure how to measure the club. A four-game stretch that starts with the Thunder might provide some answers as the Nuggets follow by hosting the Phoenix Suns on Friday, visiting the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday and returning to host the Golden State Warriors on Monday. “It’s going to be a tough week,” power forward Kenneth Faried told reporters on Monday. “It should test us, test our team.”

TRENDS:

* Under is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings in Denver.
* Thunder are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Road team is 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

BUZZER BEATERS:


1. Denver has won nine of the last 11 home games in the series.

2. Nuggets PG Ty Lawson had 29 points and eight assists in last month’s loss to the Nuggets.

3. Thunder PF Serge Ibaka had just four points and two rebounds against Orlando after posting double-doubles in seven of the previous 11 games.

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