Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 11th 2024

The most recent time the Oklahoma City Thunder played the Portland Trail Blazers, the Thunder did something no other NBA team had done in at least 25 years with their hot shooting.

In Oklahoma City’s 134-91 win in Portland on Nov. 19, the Thunder shot 60.5 percent from the floor, 61.1 percent from beyond the 3-point line and 100 percent from the free-throw line to reach the rare single-game 60/60/100 mark.

The Thunder’s 77 percent true shooting percentage also set a franchise record.

On Thursday night, the Thunder and Blazers will meet again, this time in Oklahoma City, with the Thunder on another shooting hot streak.

The Thunder have shot 50 percent or better in each of their last nine games, their longest such streak in the 15 seasons since they moved to Oklahoma City.

During the nine-game stretch, Thunder standout Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is shooting 60.2 percent from the floor.

Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 31.4 points per game, which matches his career high, as do his 5.9 rebounds a game. He also has career-high averages in assists (6.4) and steals (2.4) per game.

“He’s into the team,” Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said. “He wants to win. He sees the big picture about as well as anybody who’s as ambitious as him this early in his career.”

In Wednesday’s 128-120 win against the Heat in Miami, Gilgeous-Alexander scored 28 points and was 11 of 17 from the floor.

“I watch a lot of basketball and I pay attention to history,” he said. “And I really want to win. I’ve lost a lot in my career. I really want to win.”

The Thunder have won three of their four games this season on the second night of a back-to-back.

Portland, meanwhile, has lost four of its past five games, including Tuesday’s 112-84 defeat to the New York Knicks.

Thursday’s game will be the sixth in a seven-game road trip for the Blazers. In their four losses on the trip, Portland is averaging just 93 points.

“It’s been a tough road trip,” coach Chauncey Billups said. “I don’t think you could sum it up any other way. … It hasn’t been a good trip in my opinion, but we’ve got two more games left against some good teams and a chance to try and play better.”

Since returning from a five-game absence in late December, second-year guard Shaedon Sharpe has come off the bench for the last five games. Sharpe started 25 consecutive games before straining his right adductor.

Billups said he was considering moving Sharpe back into the starting lineup, among other moves.

“I’ll be thinking about it over the next few days, few games,” Billups said. “I think this year … I’ve been trying a lot of different stuff, so that’s on the table as well as a few other things, too.”

The Blazers hope to get some interior depth back against the Thunder after playing shorthanded in the middle in recent weeks.

Jabari Walker, who has missed the past three games with left knee tendinitis, is listed as questionable.

Deandre Ayton, who has missed the past eight games with right knee tendinitis, is nearing a return as well, though he’s listed as doubtful for Thursday’s game.

–Field Level Media

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