Thunder Hosts Charlotte, George Returns To Lineup
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Thunder hopes to even its record tonight against the Charlotte Hornets. Paul George (calf) and Andre Roberson (ankle) are questionable for the 7 p.m. tip.
OKC (12-13) played the role of spoiler on Saturday, erasing a 20-point deficit against the Grizzlies in an overtime win. It was the Thunder’s second-straight game without George. Alex Abrines started in his place and scored 20 points and shot 6 of 8 from three-point range. Steven Adams and Carmelo Anthony each contributed 21 points and nine rebounds.
The Hornets (9-16) have lost seven of the last eight and are plagued with injuries. Nicolas Batum (elbow) is out for tonight’s game while Jeremy Lamb (leg) and Frank Kaminsky (ankle) are questionable to play. Cody Zeller is out for an extended period after tearing a medial meniscus in his knee. Charlotte will also miss head coach Steve Clifford who hasn’t been on the bench since Dec. 1 due to an undisclosed health issue.
The Thunder will have to deal with Kemba Walker – 22.6 points and 6.0 assists – and Dwight Howard – 15.7 points and 12.4 rebounds – but there are several role players that can be dangerous too. Jeremy Lamb has improved each year since OKC traded him, Marvin Williams is shooting 44 percent from deep as a stretch four and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 15 points and 8.5 rebounds in two wins against the Thunder last year.
The Hornets are No. 23 in offensive rating (104.8) but No. 12 in defensive rating (107.0). OKC is No. 22 in offensive rating (105.4) and second in defensive rating (102.5).
The Thunder travel to Indianapolis on Wednesday to take on the Pacers.