Denver Nuggets Preview
Routed by the Miami Heat on Saturday in their opening seeding game, the Denver Nuggets are eyeing a rebound Monday as they face the Oklahoma City Thunder at The Arena near Orlando.
Starters Jamal Murray (hamstring), Will Barton (knee) and Gary Harris (hip) missed the 125-105 loss to the Heat, but the Nuggets still took a one-point lead into the break — only to be outscored by 16 in the third quarter.
“There’s no need to panic, with three starters out, but Aug. 17 [the start of the playoffs] is creeping closer and closer,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone told reporters. Nikola Jokic and Jerami Grant paced the Nuggets (43-23) with 19 points each. Denver is 1-1 against Oklahoma City this season.
Oklahoma City Thunder Preview
The Oklahoma City Thunder will try for their fifth straight victory Monday — and second in a row to begin seeding-game competition — when they face the Denver Nuggets at The Arena near Orlando.
Oklahoma City (41-24) moved within a half-game of Utah and Houston for fourth place in the Western Conference and 1 1/2 games of second-place Denver with Saturday’s 110-94 win against the Jazz. The Thunder led by as many as 29 points while clicking behind the balanced attack of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (19 points), Chris Paul (18) and Steven Adams (16).
Adams notched his team-leading 22nd double-double with 11 boards. Andre Roberson is working back into the Thunder rotation after logging five minutes Saturday in his first regular-season action since suffering a knee injury in January 2018.