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Thunder vs. Suns Preview

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

After a three game skid, the Thunder are hoping to get a win at home tonight when they host the Suns at 6 p.m. The News 9 team (@SteveMcGehee - @DeanBlevins - @BrettCope) will have you covered throughout the game. Here are a few things to know about tonight’s matchup.

Stellar guard play

Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek has always been in favor of starting two point guards ever since he opted to start both Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic when they were paired up together at the beginning of last season.

Now that the Suns acquired Brandon Knight in a trade from Milwaukee at the deadline, while also moving Dragic to Miami, Hornacek has slotted Knight in Dragic’s spot and the transition has been mostly seamless.

Bledsoe is averaging 20.8 points per game and 5.3 assists, while Knight is totaling 18.5 points and five assists per contest. Each one gets high volume minutes, while both can distribute effectively.

Thunder defense

Oklahoma City normally has one of the better defenses in the league, but this season the Thunder are allowing teams to score an average of 108.7 points per game. Letting teams to score that many points is unacceptable, and the Thunder will have to lock down if they don’t want to drop four straight games.

Russell Westbrook will need to play better defense up top, while Steven Adams will try to play through his sore back and sure up the inside along with Serge Ibaka.

Billy Donovan has decided to start Andre Roberson and Adams for defensive purposes, so it’s surprising to see this kind of drop off on defense to start the year.

Finish games

Excluding the loss to the Bulls, the Thunder led in the fourth quarter in the other two games of the losing streak. If they want to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference, they must learn to finish games.  

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