Since squeezing out a 116-115 win in a points-fest earlier this month, the Golden State Warriors have gone in the opposite direction to the Oklahoma City Thunder. It could be slim pickings for Mark Jackson’s men when they go to OKC on Friday, trying to properly ignite their season.
The Warriors have won only three out of seven since then, including reverses to a host of Western Conference rivals including Dallas, Portland and Memphis. With an injury list headed by Andre Iguodala, they’ve slipped defensively, giving up an average of almost 105 points over their last four games, with even their ever-reliable three-point shooting unable to halt their slide as turnovers have proven costly.
Contrast that with the Thunder who have won five straight, including a 94-88 win over San Antonio on Wednesday which snapped the Spurs 11-game winning streak. While Kevin Durant is averaging a league-high 28.2 points per night, their run has been predicated on defence with just one victory in their current upswing coming when opponents have tallied over 92.
Oklahoma City are also a perfect 7-0 at home and Serge Ibaka’s ability to add points in the paint could propel them to victory with a handicap of -7 at 1.91 looking like good value.
The Utah Jazz probably expected to be scrapping with the Phoenix Suns to be worst in the West but while all has gone as predicted in Salt Lake City with just two wins to date, their rivals have taken four victories from their last five to maintain their surprising start.
Even with Eric Bledsoe sidelined, Goran Dragic has stepped up with Slovenia’s star averaging 22.6 points over their recent surge. And with Utah being out-scored by almost 11 per game, go with Phoenix on the match handicap for victory with the Jazz’s offensive struggles a probable factor in keeping this one a low scoring affair.
Go over 202.5 total points in Oklahoma City-Golden State at 1.91
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