Originally written November 30, 2012 on Metta Chronicles:
The Oklahoma City Thunder (12-4) look to get their seventh win in eight games as the Utah Jazz (9-7) come to town for a fantastic Friday night game. The Jazz have won five of their last six, including two of their last three on the road, but will need a near-perfect game to keep this one close. AccuScore, unfortunately for Jazz fans, isn’t expecting anything close to “near-perfect” tonight from Utah. After 10,000 simulations, the Thunder came out on top 87.9 percent of the time. The average score was 105.7-92.8. They also covered their -9 spread nearly 60 percent of the time. The Thunder also got a big win (10 points or more) nearly 59.8 percent of the time. Simply put, all the data points towards a [fairly easy] OKC victory.   The total for the game was set at 204 for the simulations and it went UNDER 59.3 percent of the time. In the last four meetings between the two teams, the total has gone UNDER all four times.   The Thunder are coming off a 120-98 victory over James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Kevin Durant scored a season-high 37 points, while Russell Westbrook had just 14. Westbrook averages 20.7 points, so expect him to average out last game’s 14 with a big performance tonight. AccuScore simulations project 30 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block for Durant, and 24 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists for Westbrook. Kevin Martin, who had 17 against his former team last game, is projected to get 14 points tonight. Serge Ibaka is projected to get 14 points, 8 rebounds, and most importantly, 3+ blocks.   The Thunder are projected to shoot 15 three-pointers. They made just an average of less than five in the majority of the simulations, but shoot nearly 42 percent from there on the season. Their 105.4 pts/game leads the league, while the Jazz are 11th in the league with 98.7.   The Jazz are coming off a 96-84 win against the New Orleans Hornets. Al Jefferson, who scored a team-high 19 points last game, is projected to get 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block on 7/15 shooting. Paul Millsap is projected to get 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 block on 6/12 shooting. Gordon Hayward, who is averaging a career-high 13.3 points per game, is projected to get 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals. The simulations project 11 points and 7 rebounds for Derrick Favors.   The simulations did not include Marvin Williams as he is expected to be out due to a concussion. Mo Williams is expected to make his return tonight and is projected to get 12 points and 5 assists. Tinsley has filled in nicely for Williams during his time out and is projected to get 6 points and 6 assists tonight. The Jazz are just 1-5 against the West on the road this season. They have lost eight of their last eleven against the Thunder, but have gone 8-5 against the spread (between 6.5 – 9 points) as a road underdog in the past two seasons. The Thunder are 4-1 at home against Western Conference teams this season. I’ll be rooting for Utah tonight, but setting any bias aside, I’m taking the Thunder 103-95. All data provided by AccuScore.com
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