2013-2014 Game 76 Preview: Thunder Play Suns, Threes Expected

Business as usual, unfortunately. - Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

A torrential downpour, I presume?

2013-2014 NBA Season
Thunder_medium_medium
@
Suns_medium_medium
55-20
Lost 1

45-31
Won 1
April 6th, 2014
The US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
8:00 PM Central Standard Time
TV: Fox Sports Network Arizona, Fox Sports Network Oklahoma, Fox Sports Network Arizona
Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC, Arizona Sports 620
Injury Report: Thabo Sefolosha (Out), Leandro Barbosa (Out)
Previous Matchups: Dec 3 (W-103-96), Mar 6 (L 122-128)
Probable Starters
Russell Westbrook PG Goran Dragic
Andre Roberson SG Eric Bledsoe
Kevin Durant SF P.J. Tucker
Serge Ibaka PF Channing Frye
Kendrick Perkins C Miles Plumlee
2013/14 Advanced Stats
98.0 (9th) Pace 98.3 (T-6th)
107.8 (7th) ORtg 107.1 (8th)
100.5 (5th) DRtg 103.8 (14th)

Last time, the Thunder weren't able to stop the endless three point onslaught of the Phoenix Suns. It was one of those nights where the Thunder just didn't feel like defending the perimeter in transition, yet continually dominate the offensive end themselves. Phoenix simply has no defensive foil for any of the big three, which allowed the game to blow wide open. As a result, the Suns snuck away with a win, and it left us all very unhappy.

Now, the Suns are in the heat of an intense battle for a highly coveted Western Conference Playoff spot. Many think that they're the least talented out of the three teams chasing the final two places, but that doesn't make them any less deadly when they need a win. The return of Eric Bledsoe has helped in that department, as the team has been 9-4 since his March 12th return. His performances have been up and down, but his highs are often high enough to carry the team to victory.

Earlier in the season, Eric Bledsoe was a serious factor against the Thunder. He managed to take advantage of a really physical game inside to open up lots of scoring opportunities for him and his teammates. Bledsoe's outside game wasn't good enough to back that up though, and Dragic wasn't such an offensive focus yet.

Needless to say, this is one heck of a trap game. The Suns are almost tailor built to beat the Thunder offensively, though they don't figure to do anything but bother us a bit on the perimeter defensively. Luckily, Westbrook will be in the game, and should help to create some defensive chaos. Unluckily, Kendrick Perkins will likely also be in this game, and he or Ibaka may find themselves quickly mismatched.

Today's game is also rather monumental because it's the game in which Kevin Durant's legendary scoring record can finally go in the books on its' own. Yes, if KD scores 25 tonight, he'll officailly pass Jordan as the player to score 25 points in the most consecutive games. Hats off to ya.

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 109, Phoenix Suns 108.

What do you think is going to happen tonight? Let us know in the comments!

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