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Thunder vs. Bulls preview: Can Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook limit their turnovers?

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Lost possessions have doomed the Thunder in recent games, making it a factor to watch in Thursday's game against the Chicago Bulls.


Where They At: Oklahoma City Thunder

Even the dynamic duo can’t salvage the Thunder from their turnovers woes – Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are actually the major turnover contributors to this team that leads the league in turning the ball over. After starting the season with three wins, the Thunder have suffered two straight losses in which they turned the ball over 24 and 19 times respectively. The Thunder were able to build up leads over the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors, only to watch their opponents chip away the cushions and pull away with wins. As much as they have to prepare for their next opponent, they also have themselves to overcome.

Where They At: Chicago Bulls

In their last game against the Charlotte Hornets, the Bulls could do nothing to stifle hot outside shooting. They look to bounce back from a 25-point loss in which they committed 13 turnovers that led to 20 Charlotte points. Jimmy Butler has shouldered responsibilities on both ends while Derrick Rose struggles to find a grip early, posting single-digit point totals over his last three games for the first time in his career. In his second year, Nikola Mirotic is playing some of his best basketball in his new role as starting power forward. He poses a great threat from behind the arc by knocking down three-pointers only second to the best shooter on the planet. Joakim Noah, however, hasn’t been as productive upon his move to the bench.

The Matchup

The matchup is supposed to be a showcase between two first-tier teams in their conferences. The collision of lethal weapons build up the suspense. Will Westbrook dwarf the former MVP Rose? Can Chicago muster the strength to object Durant’s rhythm? How can Kanter handle Noah now that they both come off the bench? Role players in both teams are solid enough to evolve to game-changers. But again, watching out for turnovers for both sides if they want to shake off recent frustration.

Prediction: Oklahoma City 107, Chicago 99

2014-15 NBA Season Game
(Lost 1)

(Lost 2)
November 5th, 2015
United Center, Chicago, IL
8:00 PM Central Standard Time
TV: TNT, NBA League Pass
Injury Report: Mike Dunleavy (Out), Kirk Hinrich (DTD)
This Season's Matchups: N/A
Probable Starters
Russell Westbrook PG Derrick Rose
Andre Roberson SG Jimmy Butler
Kevin Durant SF Tony Snell
Serge Ibaka PF Nikola Mirotic
Steven Adams C Pau Gasol