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Celebrations for Martin Luther King Day are abound, and the NBA has scheduled some of its most exciting matches. Our eyes will be on a heated game in the West, where the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Los Angeles Lakers!
On Monday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder (27-11) continue their run for the top seed in the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Lakers (19-21) are just trying to get back into position for a playoff or Play-In spot. These teams have met twice already this season, splitting their last two games.
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When they face off on Monday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers are desperate for victory. While the Thunder are trying to claim the top seed in the West, the Lakers are just trying to return to a competitive position.
Through 38 games, the Oklahoma City Thunder have posted a 27-11-0 record, third in the NBA. That’s a 71.1% win percentage, with a 9.1 margin of victory and a +6.4 ATS +/-. The Thunder have won four of their last five games, entering this game on a four-game win streak.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are relatively healthy, with their injury report listing Lindy Waters III (Illness) as questionable. The Los Angeles Lakers will be without Gabe Vincent (Knee), while LeBron James (Ankle) is questionable to return after sitting out their Saturday game.
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Anthony Davis continues his solid run this season, facing a Thunder team he’s performed well against in two previous meetings. He’ll have a beneficial matchup when these two teams face off, so expect Davis to capitalize in hopes of bringing the Lakers back into winning form.
In 38 games played this season, Anthony Davis has averaged 25.1 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 55.1% from the field and 33.3% from three-point range. He’s coming from a losing effort where he contributed 15 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists despite shooting 23.8% from the field.
Davis has been tenacious on the glass this season, collecting 12 or more rebounds in 20 appearances. He’s averaged 12.5 rebounds in two contests against the Thunder this season, so expect Davis’ interior dominance to continue.
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Canadian point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to impress fans, showing off an MVP-worthy scoring ability and playmaking reminiscent of a previous famous Canadian MVP winner. On the season, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 31.5 points, 6.4 assists, and 5.9 rebounds on 55.8% from the field and 34.1% from three-point range.
Gilgeous-Alexander has had command of the Thunder offense this season, collecting six or more assists in 23 of his 37 appearances. Against a Lakers team he’s averaged seven assists per game against this season, expect the Thunder guard to thrive offensively once again.
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Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Location: crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California
Date: 10:30 PM EST, Monday, January 15, 2024
TV: NBA TV
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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