NBA Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves Reuters

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s recent surge has brought them to the top of the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Laker’s continuing slump has dropped them near the conference’s bottom. These teams going to opposite directions on Thursday in the last game in the NBA before the All-Star break.

The Thunder are coming off wins over the New York Knicks, 112-100 and Portland Trail Blazers, 98-95 and have only lost twice since mid-January with a 14-2 win-loss record in this stretch. Conversely, the Lakers are entering the game from back-to-back losses and have lost 21 of 26 games in the past two months.

OKC’s Kevin Durant had another monster performance in the win versus the Blazers finishing with 36 points and 10 rebounds. The young guns also did their share as Reggie Jackson had 17 points 6 rebounds and 5 assists and Jeremy Lamb had 19 points and 5 boards off the bench.

The beleaguered Lakers couldn’t handle the visiting Utah Jazz in their last outing as they lost via a 96-79 blowout. L.A.'s offense sputtered once again shooting just 38.8 per cent from the field (33/85 FG) and they were outrebounded, 55-40 as well. Center Chris Kaman had his best effort for the season with 25 points and 14 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

In the first meeting between these teams, the Thunder destroyed the Lakers, 122-97. Durant had 31 markers and 3 steals in that game and three other OKC players ended up in double-figure scoring.

Betting Lines: Oklahoma City Thunder (-11) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (207.0) Game time: 1:30 pm AEDT

Betting Against the Spread (ATS)

Oklahoma City Thunder Trends - The Thunder are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games - The Thunder are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. West teams - The Thunder are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games on the road

Los Angeles Lakers Trends - The Lakers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. West teams - The Lakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after an ATS loss - The Lakers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games at home

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