76ers-Thunder Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 03, 2013
Lakers
The Oklahoma City Thunder have their sights set on beginning a new home winning streak, while the road-weary Philadelphia 76ers likely are relieved their trip is nearing its end. Oklahoma City seeks its eighth straight win in the series Friday night against Philadelphia, which hopes to avoid a 10th loss in its last 12 road contests. The Thunder's 12-game home run came to a frustrating end Wednesday, when Kevin Durant was ejected for the first time in his career during a 110-93 loss to Brooklyn. Durant became visibly frustrated with referee Danny Crawford and was tossed with less than two minutes remaining after scoring 27 points for Oklahoma City (24-7), which entered the game averaging 108.2 points at home. "You get frustrated throughout a game, you show emotion. That's how you can tell you love it,'' Durant said. He said he didn't love the team's defense that fell one point short of matching its season worst for points allowed. It also marked only the second time the Thunder allowed an opponent to shoot at least 50.0 percent. "It's a fine line (between) winning and losing, and it takes commitment on both ends of the floor to be a good team," coach Scott Brooks said. "We are a good basketball team and we will focus on the next game like we've always done." Oklahoma City has seemed quite prepared for Philadelphia during its winning streak in the series and pulled out a 116-109 overtime victory Nov. 24 behind 37 points from Durant and 30 from Russell Westbrook. Durant is averaging 30.7 points over his last six versus the 76ers while Westbrook has averaged 27.5 during his last four against a Philadelphia team that is 2-4 on its current eight-game road trip. The 76ers (15-18) scored fewer than 90 points for the third time in four contests and fell 95-89 at Phoenix on Wednesday despite Jrue Holiday's second-career triple-double (16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists). Philadelphia, which has dropped three straight in Oklahoma City, concludes its trip Saturday at San Antonio. "We know OKC and San Antonio are two good teams, but we've got to worry about the next one and that's OKC," Holiday said. "The last time we played them it came down to overtime, so we'll be ready." Holiday shot only 3 for 11 and scored a season-low six points in that contest, but he did have 13 assists. He has 10 assists in three of his last four games and ranks near the top of the league at 9.0 per game, but he also is averaging an NBA-worst 3.8 turnovers after committing six Wednesday. "We're a team that sort of depends on everybody, but we ride Jrue so much," coach Doug Collins said. "Even if he gets a little bit off, we just count on him to do so much for us." Philadelphia has lost nine of 12 overall and is among the league's worst teams in scoring at 93.3 points per game. That is partly due to its notoriously slow starts, averaging 22.8 points in the first quarter to rank near the bottom of the league. "The inconsistency just comes back to haunt us every night," Collins said. Thaddeus Young had a season-best 29 points and added a career-high 15 rebounds in the first meeting with the Thunder - the second in the last three matchups that has been decided in overtime.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Mike Carey not heard from again after being wrong earlier

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

WATCH: Panthers' Jonathan Stewart leaps over pile for TD

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker