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NBA Thursday Specials: Thunder and Kings our picks

Tue, Nov 21, 12:06pm by Staff Writer

An NBA Western Conference double header on ESPN Australia this Thursday will see the Golden State Warriors visit the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Sacramento Kings.

Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder

Thursday, 23 November 2017 at 12pm AEDST

Ever since Kevin Durant’s deflection to the Golden State Warriors, matches between these two teams have been fiery and hotly contested, with Thursday’s match up expected to be no different.

The Warriors are second in the Western Conference with a 13-4 record and winners of nine of their past 10 games.

Despite a scare against Philadelphia on Sunday, where they trailed by as many as 24 points, the Warriors surged during the third quarter to win by eight points.

The Thunder are starting to string some wins together and are much more potent at home where they have a 5-2 record, compared to a 2-6 road mark.

The fans inside Chesapeake Energy Arena will be up for this match and it is a chance for Russell Westbrook and the Thunder to beat Kevin Durant for the first time since he moved to Golden State.

With the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George now on the Thunder roster, this is a much stronger OKC team than last season.

The Warriors are winding down their road trip after games against Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and the Thunder.

With one eye towards returning home and Thanksgiving celebrations on the West Coast, we think the Thunder might come out and win an important match and signal to the rest of the Western Conference that they are a powerful force this season.

Best bet- Oklahoma City Thunder to win at Sportsbet

Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings

Thursday, 23 November 2017 at 2.30pm AEDST

The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the surprise teams in the Western Conference so far this season.

After being the worst defensive team in the NBA last season, the Lakers now rank inside the top 10 in overall defence.

A bright spot for the Lakers so far this season has been rookie draftee Kyle Kuzma who is averaging over 16 points per game in a starting role.

At 7-10, the Lakers have played better at home (5-5) than on the road (2-5).

The story is similar for Sacramento, who have an atrocious away record of 1-9, including a recent blowout to Atlanta by 46 points.

The Kings have won games against the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder at home, so shouldn’t be taken lightly by road teams.

In a game that will always evoke memories of the 1999 Western Conference Finals with the likes of Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Chris Webber, the advantage lies with the Kings.

At home and sure to be fired up, Sacramento should be able to account for this Lakers team on the back of a strong defensive showing from the Kings and home court advantage.

Look to back the Kings at the handicap if it is less than 5 points.

Best bet- Sacramento Kings to cover the handicap at Sportsbet

*Sportsbet odds will be posted when they become available

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