National Basketball Association
Preview
Denver at Oklahoma City
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, February 21, 2020
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The Denver Nuggets attempt to beat Oklahoma City for the eighth straight time when they visit the Thunder on Friday night. The Nuggets have won nine of the past 10 meetings following a stretch in which Oklahoma City racked up nine consecutive triumphs.

Denver resides in second place in the Western Conference and would like to make a run at the first-place Los Angeles Lakers, who have a four-game cushion as play resumes after the All-Star break. “Emotionally, we have to find a way to get back and not ease into the post-All-Star break run,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone told reporters. “We have a very difficult schedule moving forward and we’re not satisfied with where we’re at. Let’s continue to make a push.” Oklahoma City shares sixth place in the West with the Dallas Mavericks and won 10 of its past 13 games. Forward Danilo Gallinari was nearly dealt at the trading deadline but made the lack of action look good by scoring 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting in a 123-118 road victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 13 in the squad's final game before the break.

TIME: 8 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN, Altitude, FS Oklahoma

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (38-17): Denver is hoping the trio of swingman Will Barton (knee), forward Michael Porter Jr. (ankle) and big man Mason Plumlee (foot) will have healed over the break and be available for Friday's game. “There is definitely a chance,” Malone told reporters after Wednesday's practice. “Out of all those guys, we’re probably most cautious with Will Barton. But Mason Plumlee was able to go through parts of live drills. Michael Porter was able to go through parts of live scrimmaging, and Will was as well, but just not as much.” Barton missed the past four games and Porter sat out the last six while Plumlee has missed the past 12.

ABOUT THE THUNDER (33-22): The trio of guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (team-high 19.5 scoring average), Dennis Schroder (19.3) and Chris Paul (17.4 points, team-leading 6.7 assists) continue to fuel the strong season. Gilgeous-Alexander is displaying signs of being a go-to force in his second season, Schroder is supplying big-time punch off the bench and All-Star Paul is delivering big-time leadership. The standard belief was that the Thunder would deal Paul after acquiring him in the Russell Westbrook deal but instead he has meshed well with younger teammates and impressed coach Billy Donovan with his teamwork and guidance skills.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Nuggets prevailed 110-102 over the visiting Thunder on Dec. 14 in this season's first meeting.

2. Oklahoma City C Steven Adams collected 10 or more rebounds in three straight contests.

3. Denver PG Jamal Murray is averaging 29 points on 57.1 percent shooting over the past five games.

PREDICTION: Nuggets 109, Thunder 107
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Denver 38-17 L1 21-7 17-10 4-3 34-14 9-0 25-9
Oklahoma City 33-22 W1 17-12 16-10 4-1 29-21 6-4 22-14
Last Meeting
Denver Oklahoma City
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/14/19 OKC 102 DEN 110 110 44 50.6 102 37 46.9
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Denver N. Jokic 28 78.6 3
Oklahoma City D. Schroder 22 47.1 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Denver N. Jokic 14 1 13
Oklahoma City S. Adams 14 6 8
Assists Player  
Denver N. Jokic 12
Oklahoma City C. Paul 10
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Denver N. Jokic 1160 52.1 187
Oklahoma City S. Gilgeous-Alexander 1128 46.7 239
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Denver N. Jokic 581 136 445
Oklahoma City S. Adams 467 167 300
Assists Player  
Denver N. Jokic 388
Oklahoma City C. Paul 365
Quickchart Matchup
Denver Denver Off vs  Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Defense
Denver Off vs Oklahoma City - Points For 110.4 Points For
Denver Off vs Oklahoma City - Points Against 108.0 Points Against
Denver - FG% 46.5 FG%
Oklahoma City - FG% 45.6 FG%
Denver - Reb 44.9 Reb
Oklahoma City - Reb 44.4 Reb
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Off vs  Denver Denver Defense
Oklahoma City Off vs Denver - Points For 110.6 Points For
Oklahoma City Off vs Denver - Points Against 106.7 Points Against
Oklahoma City - FG% 47.1 FG%
Denver - FG% 45.7 FG%
Oklahoma City - Reb 43.1 Reb
Denver - Reb 43.3 Reb