Coming off its first loss in the last six games, the Thunder will be back in action on Wednesday night when it hosts the Philadelphia 76ers.
Here are a few things to know about the matchup:
Trust the Process
While they’ve spent much of the past three seasons being the laughing stock of the NBA, things are starting to come together for the Sixers. Philly has won three of its last five games and would be on a three-game winning streak if it weren’t for an overtime loss to the Magic on Monday night.
Even though blossoming star Joel Embiid has been shut down for the season, the Sixers still have plenty of young talent to throw out on the court.
Rookie Dario Saric has come on strong as of late and is averaging over 20 points and seven rebounds per game over his last ten, while T.J. McConnell does a phenomenal job of facilitating Philly’s offense. Robert Covington is also having a nice year as a two-way wing player.
Last Time These Teams Played…
The Thunder opened the 2016-17 season in Philadelphia as OKC picked up a narrow 103-97 win in front of a rowdy Wells Fargo Center.
Russell Westbrook was one assist away from a triple-double with 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists as the Thunder outrebounded the Sixers 53-43 in the game. Embiid gave the Thunder all sorts of trouble with 20 points and seven boards while former 76er and current Thunder wing, Jerami Grant, tallied 10 points in 20 minutes off the bench.
This was also the game where a Sixers fan was ejected for giving Westbrook the double birds.
A Warrior Hangover
While the 76ers are a team the Thunder should definitely beat at home, OKC won’t be able to overlook this young Philly squad. Seeing the Thunder got blown out in an emotional game against the Warriors on Monday, there may be a bit of a hangover from the loss.
It’s no secret that OKC and Golden State are rivals, and the Thunder played one of its worst game of the season in the game following its last lost to the Warriors in February. Two days later the Thunder went to the nation’s capital and got beat by 22 points, but the game didn’t even feel that close at all.
It’ll be interesting to see how OKC responds in this matchup, especially when every win is important at this point in the season.