The Oklahoma City-Memphis rivalry resumes tonight when the Grizzlies come to town having won three of their last four.
The Thunder anticipates being without Kevin Durant for a second-straight game due to a sprained toe and things didn’t go well without the superstar in Monday’s 116-104 loss to Sacramento. After running neck and neck with the tenth-place Kings in the first half, the Thunder scored just 38 points in the latter with Russell Westbrook shooting 2 of 15 in that stretch.
Still, Durant might be missed more defensively. His length and versatility give him a unique ability to switch on screens and play solid help defense.
Ironically, facing the Grizzlies might be just what the doctor ordered. Although known for their grit ‘n grind defense, they one of the lowest scoring teams in the NBA, averaging 96.0 points per contest. Only the 76ers are worse at 92.9.
The Thunder are holding onto third in the Western Conference standings. Memphis sits sixth. If both wind up in the same vicinity at the end of the regular season, there will be another tough playoff series on tap for these two rivals.