Jokic, Nuggets to face Paul, Thunder
Denver Nuggets (38-17, second in the Western Conference) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (33-22, sixth in the Western Conference)
Oklahoma City; Friday, 8 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Oklahoma City hosts Denver in a matchup of Northwest Division teams.
The Thunder have gone 22-14 against Western Conference teams. Oklahoma City is fourth in the Western Conference in team defense, allowing only 108 points and holding opponents to 45.6 percent shooting.
The Nuggets are 25-9 in conference games. Denver is fifth in the NBA allowing only 106.7 points and holding opponents to 45.7 percent shooting.
The two teams matchup for the second time this season. The Nuggets defeated the Thunder 110-102 in their last matchup on Dec. 14. Nikola Jokic led Denver with 28 points, and Dennis Schroder paced Oklahoma City scoring 22 points.
TOP PERFORMERS: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the Thunder scoring 19.5 points per game and averaging 6.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Schroder has averaged 22.2 points and 3.9 rebounds while shooting 47.0 percent over the last 10 games for Oklahoma City.
Jokic is averaging 20.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists for the Nuggets. Jerami Grant has averaged 13.5 points and 3.9 rebounds while shooting 45.1 percent over the last 10 games for Denver.
LAST 10 GAMES: Thunder: 7-3, averaging 113.8 points, 42.3 rebounds, 23.2 assists, 7.3 steals and 4.9 blocks per game while shooting 47.9 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 107.7 points on 45.7 percent shooting.
Nuggets: 7-3, averaging 115.4 points, 44.7 rebounds, 27.7 assists, 7.7 steals and 5.5 blocks per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 109.9 points on 46.8 percent shooting.
INJURIES: Thunder: Darius Bazley: out (knee), Andre Roberson: out (knee).
Nuggets: Mason Plumlee: out (foot), Will Barton: day to day (knee), Bol Bol: out (foot), Michael Porter Jr.: day to day (right ankle).