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Full Strength Oklahoma City Thunder Look To Stay Hot and Headline Friday's NBA Action

Posted by Craig Parsons on 12/11/2014 9:02:19 PM

Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook are back from injury and as a result the Oklahoma City Thunder have won five of their last six games, with Durant or Westbrook being the game-high scorer in four of their five victories. They take on the Minnesota Timberwolves this coming Friday, but the NBA has plenty of action to offer sports bettors on a jam-packed Friday night.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Odds: Thunder -9

The Timberwolves have the number one pick Andrew Wiggins starting at the shooting guard position, but they're a team decimated by injuries as Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic, and Mo Williams will all miss his contest. Because of these injuries the Timberwolves have fallen to 5-16 on the season, but they're coming off a shocking eight-point victory over the Portland Trail Blazers and will be looking to give the Thunder a run for their money. While the showdown between Westbrook and either Wiggins or Zach LaVine will be a match-up to watch, the Timberwolves simply don't have anyone to match-up with Durant as their starting power forward, Thaddeus Young, is not nearly as athletic or quick as the Texas Longhorns product and as a result the Thunder should have no problem securing a much needed victory against a lack-luster Timberwolves squad.

Pick: Thunder

Cleveland Cavaliers @ New Orleans Pelicans

Odds: Cavaliers -4

The Cleveland Cavaliers are beginning to look like one of the dominant teams of the NBA as they've now won eight straight games and are averaging the seventh most points per game this season. Kevin Love still has to find his role on the team, but LeBron James has figured out how to be a scorer and distributor and is averaging 25 points, eight assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game this season. The New Orleans Pelicans don't have an answer for James, but the third-year pro Anthony Davis is rapidly becoming one of the best players in the league by averaging 25 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks, and two steals per contest. He's a stat stuffing machine as a power forward, and will be going up against Love for most of the night in the games premier player match-up. The Pelicans should be able to protect the rim this game, which gives them a legitimate shot at ending the Cav's eight game winning streak.

Pick: Pelicans

Miami Heat @ Utah Jazz

Odds: Heat -5

The Miami Heat have struggled without LeBron James this season and as a result they're 10-12 and going up against the Utah Jazz in a must-win situation. Miami hasn't yet identified themselves as an offensive or defensive squad, and as a result they're averaging just 95 points per game with Chris Bosh leading the way with 21 points per contest. Their bench is another area of concern, as it's one of the weakest in the league, and it's the one opening the Jazz should take advantage of this Friday night. Gordon Hayward is Utah's leading scorer with a 19 points per game average, but it's the bench players Rudy Gobert and Trevor Booker who give the Jazz an advantage down low as the two combined for 12 points, four blocks, and six rebounds in the team's most recent victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

Pick: Jazz



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