Nuggets vs Thunder preview: Denver enters Durantula's lair

Denver travels to Oklahoma City on the second leg of a back-to-back. Denver has made a habit of breaking others' streaks over the years. Tonight they attempt to shut down Kevin Durant and break his 34 game streak of 25+ points. Between breaking that streak and winning the game, I have to think a win would be the easier of the two.

Game 71: 2013-14 NBA Season
@
32-38 (13-22 away)
Series 1-2 OKC
51-18 (28-7 home)
March 24th 2014
CHESAPEAKE ENERGY ARENA - OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
6:00 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Ty Lawson PG Russell Westbrook
Randy Foye
SG Andre Roberson
Wilson Chandler SF Kevin Durant
Kenneth Faried PF Serge Ibaka
Timofey Mozgov C Steven Adams
Notes
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Blogs Welcome to Loud City
Danilo Gallinari (knee), JaVale McGee (leg fracture), Nate Robinson (ACL sprain), JJ Hickson (ACL), Jan Vesely (rib) are out. Injuries Kendrick Perkins is Out (left groin strain), Thabo Sefolosha is out (left calf strain)

Kenneth Faried's .553 shooting percentage is 6th best in the NBA this season.

Stat

Kevin Durant has scored at least 25 points in his last 34 games, second longest streak in the last 50 years.

The Denver Nuggets have won 7 of their last 11 games and will attempt to carry some momentum from yesterday's win over Washington at home into the Sooner State as they battle one of the best in the west, the Thunder of Oklahoma.

OKC has won three in a row and now have a healthy Russell Westbrook back in their starting lineup.  Denver has played well of late, beating Miami and the Clippers, but will play the second game of a back to back in one of the more difficult environments in the NBA.  The Thunder are 31-7 at home this season, good enough for fourth best record in the NBA.  This is definitely a daunting match up, but as Nuggets fans have learned during the second half of this season, all Denver needs is a healthy Ty Lawson and a post-trade deadline Kenneth Faried to have a shot at a victory.

Kevin Durant has been on a mission this season.  He looks primed to win his first MVP of his career.  He needs seven more consecutive games with 25 points or more to break Michael Jordan's record of 40 straight in the 1986-87 season.  Durant scored 51 in his last game against Toronto.  His 32.2 points per game leads all NBA players.

Not much is expected of Denver, tonight.  The Nuggs are 10.5 point underdogs.  The recent second half has been encouraging.  I expect a scrappy effort from Denver as they do well enough to beat the spread.  Westbrook will earn a technical foul.  Faried will perform serviceable defense against Serge Ibaka, holding Serge to less than 15 points.  Ultimately, Durant will score 38 and lead OKC to another victory.

NCAA Tournament Player to Watch: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State

Chad Ford writes, "Harris has a complete game. He’s a two-way player who can shoot with range, get to the basket and finish above the rim."  Where do I sign up!?  Unfortunately, Julius Randle (Kentucky) and Aaron Gordon (Arizona) are the only players ranked ahead of him still alive in the tourney.  If Sparty continues to make a run with wins over Virginia and UCONN/Iowa State, it will be thanks to big contributions from Harris which could result in him shooting up the draft board, just out of our reach.  Denver needs more three point shooting and if it comes from a solid defensive guard, even better.

What Beer am I Drinking? Stone Go To IPA

Craving hops?  Look no further than Stone Brewing Company.  Looking to enjoy a few bottles of suds on a school night while hoping to avoid any repercussions tomorrow morning?  Session ales contain a low boost, allowing you to enjoy more than one without risking exposure to the brown bottle flu.  Stone has managed to cram 65 IBU into a beer with only 4.5% alcohol by volume.  Now that this brutal Winter appears to be on the way out, stock up on Go To IPA, the perfect lawn mowing beer.

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