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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 20th (All times Eastern)

Oklahoma City Thunder (49-18) at Cleveland Cavaliers (26-42), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder will try to stay unbeaten on this short road trip Thursday night when they visit Quicken Loans Arena to face the Cleveland Cavaliers.

OKC opened its three-game swing with a 97-85 victory in Chicago over the Bulls Monday night. The Thunder still have to visit the Toronto Raptors on Friday before heading home.

The Thunder haven't been able to keep pace with the San Antonio Spurs for Western Conference supremacy. San Antonio, which has won 11 straight, is now two clear of Oklahoma City for the top seed.

Monday's victory marked the first time the Thunder held an opponent under 90 points since a Feb. 3 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Thunder's defense held Chicago to just 34.5 percent shooting, including a 5-for-22 mark from behind the 3-point line.

"That's what it's about, inspiring your team on the defensive end and finding ways to score together," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "They did that throughout the game."

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 35 points on 11-for-21 shooting. He grabbed 12 rebounds, handed out five assists and didn't commit a single turnover. It was his 32nd consecutive game with 25-plus points, which is the longest run of his career and the longest in the NBA since Michael Jordan strung 40 straight together during the 1986-87 season.

Russell Westbrook, who sat out Sunday's 23-point loss to the Mavericks, netted 17 points and was one rebound and one assist away from a triple-double, while Serge Ibaka checked in with 15 points for the victors.

Caron Butler (12) and Reggie Jackson (11) also scored in double figures for the Thunder.

The Cavs have dropped two straight and no one would criticize losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat, especially since most of the time, they were without All-Star MVP Kyrie Irving.

He went down in the first quarter of the Clippers loss with a biceps injury and will be sidelined for two weeks.

Irving's teammates battled the Heat on Tuesday in Cleveland but came up short in a 100-96 setback. LeBron James torched his former team for 43 points, including 25 in the first quarter.

Jarrett Jack led the way for Cleveland with 22 points. Dion Waiters provided 17 points and 11 assists for the Cavs, who have dropped six of their last eight games.

Anderson Varejao registered a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Alonzo Gee (12), Spencer Hawes (11) and Tristan Thompson (10) also scored in double digits for a Cleveland team which shot 51 percent from the floor.

"Our guys hung in there and they competed," Cleveland head coach Mike Brown said.

The Cavs beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Feb. 26 and have taken three of the last four meetings. Cleveland is 6-1 in its last seven as the host in this series.

03/20 10:27:44 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
ORL 94
UTA 101
Final
CLE 95
BRK 91
Final
BOS 114
MIN 98
Final
DET 100
TOR 110
Final
MIA 103
WAS 105
Final
MEM 97
CHI 103
 
1st OT
SAN 104
POR 99
 
3rd
DEN 64
LAC 67
 
1st
LAL 0
OKC 0
 
Final
YOUNG 92
WILB 71
 
Final
TULA 56
JST 49
 
Final
RAD 76
SIENA 66
 
Final
BUCK 88
CASEWEST 65
 
Final
LIB 94
CPNC 65
 
Final
SCAR 68
CLEM 45
Final
CMICH 97
CONC 60
 
Final
MIAMI 44
EKENT 72
Final
GWEBB 91
HIWASSEE 71
 
Final
ODU 60
MDES 43
 
Final
BUF 88
NIAG 62
 
Final
KSU 71
NCAT 57
 
Final
FAM 65
UNF 83
 
Final
NORST 81
NARZ 62
 
Final
DART 58
NILL 55
 
Final
MORE 60
NKENTUCKY 83
 
Final
UCSB 69
SDCHR 46
 
Final
STJ 53
GAELS 47
Final
ALA 69
STILL 49
 
Final
HAMP 66
TENST 54
 
Final
TENN 61
TENT 58
Final
WMARY 86
WSHMD 46
 
Final
MERC 67
COOK 46
 
Final
FLGC 83
FUR 78
 
Final
CALST 49
SDKST 53
 
Final
MTST 68
CHAT 58
 
Final
NDAK 78
DICKINSON 48
 
Final
LAMON 76
LSUALEX 71
 
Final
PRIN 77
LIP 55
 
Final
LAM 80
MLGN 53
 
Final
MINN 92
SEAT 57
 
Final
LOYC 73
SUTAH 57
 
Final
SELA 81
WINT 71
 
Final
SILL 52
NO 56
 
2nd
MARQ 77
ALAAM 42
 
2nd
TTU 53
ARKPB 38
 
2nd
DEN 67
COLST 76
 
2nd
CREI 69
TXPA 51
 
1st
CAL 29
EWASH 24
 
1st
UTST 26
IDST 20
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
NJD 3
TAM 2
Final
OTT 6
ANA 2
Final
DET 1
NYI 2
Final
WIN 2
BOS 1
2nd Intermission
CAL 1
DAL 2