Thunder Looks to Extend Lead in West

For all of the panic centered around the relationship between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, the Thunder just kept winning.

Following an early slump, Westbrook returned to All-Star form, averaging 22.7 points, 7.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game as he was named Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday. 

Durant ranks third in the league in scoring average and is the top forward in the conference in All-Star voting.

The duo has led Oklahoma City to the best record in the NBA and is one of just three teams averaging over 100 points per game, even with a starting lineup with only two true scoring threats.

Even with a young team, the Thunder make little mistakes, play excellent defense, rank second in the NBA in blocks per game and lead the league in free throw shooting percentage.

With three games on national television next week, Oklahoma City is proving small markets can be successful in the NBA.

Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Tuesday 8 p.m. ET on

Once again the Grizzlies are succeeding following an injury to a star forward. After an extended playoff run without Rudy Gay last season, Memphis remains one of the premier teams in the Western Conference even with Zach Randolph possibly being sidelined for the rest of the season.

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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks

Wednesday 8 p.m. ET on

After sitting out for four games, Dirk Nowitzki returned Sunday in a win over San Antonio and will play in a rematch of the Western Conference Finals from a year ago. The Mavericks will now be without point guard Jason Kidd as he is expected to miss at least at week after straining his calf.

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Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks

Thursday 8 p.m. ET on

With nine losses in their last 10 games and Carmelo Anthony still recovering from ankle and wrist injuries, the Knicks are in need of a spark early in the year. Of New York’s seven victories this season, only its win over Philadelphia came against a team with a winning record.

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Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers

Thursday 10:30 p.m. ET on

Playing for the second time in a week, the Clippers won the opener as Chauncey Billups scored a season-high 32 points in his hometown to snap a six game win-streak for Denver. Despite the loss, the Nuggets have the second best record in the conference and have identical record of 7-3 at home and on the road.

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New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics

Friday 8 p.m. ET on

In what was supposed to be a showdown between two teams competing for the Atlantic Division crown, the showcase on Friday night features two teams seeking redemption. Even without All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo in the lineup, Boston has won five of its last seven games, including its epic 27 point comeback against the Magic.

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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Monday 10 p.m. ET on

Portland boasts a 9-1 record at the Rose Garden and are tied with Chicago for the second best home record in the league. The Trail Blazers have six players scoring in double figures each night and three players averaging at least seven rebounds per game.

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Upcoming Fan Night Choices

Utah Jazz at Indiana Pacers

Charlotte Bobcats at Boston Celtics

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat

Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks

Sacramento Kings at Minnesota Timberwolves

Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors

Vote for your favorite match-up here.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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