National Basketball Association
Denver at Oklahoma City
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The regular-season finale is meaningless for Oklahoma City but it does pack importance for the Denver Nuggets when they visit the Thunder on Wednesday. Denver would like to halt a nine-game skid against Oklahoma City - including three losses this season - when it completes a campaign in which it posted the ninth-best record in the Western Conference.
The Nuggets had a chance at the postseason before red-hot Portland overtook them for the final Western Conference berth but a victory over the Thunder would allow them to reach 40 wins for the first time 2012-13. Denver was eliminated from the postseason race on Sunday when Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook buried a 36-foot, 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Thunder a 106-105 victory. Westbrook sat out for the first time all season during Tuesday's 100-98 road victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves and might also miss Wednesday's game with Oklahoma City set as the No. 6 seed in the West. Westbrook set the NBA record of 42 triple-doubles on Sunday and the former record-holder, Oscar Robertson (41 in 1961-62), is slated to be part of the festivities honoring Westbrook.TV:
8 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), FSN OklahomaABOUT THE NUGGETS (39-42):
Shooting guard Gary Harris scored 20 points in Tuesday's 109-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks to mark the third time in five games that he has scored 20 or more points. He struggled badly in Sunday's loss to the Thunder as he tallied just two points on 1-of-8 shooting. Denver held out forwards Danilo Gallinari (rest) and Kenneth Faried (back), swingman Will Barton (rest) and point guards Jameer Nelson (calf) and Emmanuel Mudiay (ankle) against Dallas and most, if not all, of the group will also sit out the finale.ABOUT THE THUNDER (47-34):
Oklahoma City prevailed without Westbrook against the Timberwolves as shooting guard Victor Oladipo played the starring role with 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists as well as sinking the game-winning jumper with 6.3 seconds left. Rookie power forward Domantas Sabonis got extended time with Taj Gibson (rest) out of the lineup and contributed 19 points and nine rebounds in one of his top performances of the season. Thunder coach Billy Donovan said he will discuss the situation with Westbrook before making a decision on whether the star guard plays in the finale.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Nuggets lost their last eight visits to Oklahoma City, including a 121-106 setback on Jan. 7.
2. Denver rookie SG Jamal Murray is just 7-of-23 shooting over the past two games.
3. Oklahoma City SF Doug McDermott (knee) will miss his third consecutive contest.PREDICTION:
Nuggets 113, Thunder 109
Stats and Records