The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for Milwaukee Bucks’ second showdown with Oklahoma City Thunder in the past week.
12:00 (AEDT), Sat 20th Feb @ Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee
History: Played 151: Thunder 77 V Bucks 74
Last meeting: February 14, 2021: Thunder 114 d Bucks 109 at Chesapeake Energy Arena
Final Thoughts: The slumping Milwaukee Bucks shape up for the opportunity to atone for an upset loss to Oklahoma City Thunder just five days ago.
A triple-double from Giannis Antetokounmpo (24 pts, 17 reb, 10 ast) wasn’t enough to prevent a 114-109 defeat at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Al Horford (20 pts, 7 reb, 9 ast) produced one of his best games of the season for the Thunder, while Justin Jackson (22 pts, 5 ast) and Lugeuntz Dort (19 pts, 7 reb) were strong in the backcourt.
The result was part of the 16-13 Bucks’ current five-game losing streak. They subsequently lost consecutive home games to the Raptors: 124-113 on Wednesday (AEDT) and 110-96 yesterday. The latter represented the first time the NBA heavyweights have been held to under 100 points this season.
Their defence is struggling without Jrue Holiday and Antetokounmpo is getting meagre support offensively.
Rebuilding Thunder stand up to NBA’s big dogs
The 11-17 Thunder are second-last in the West but have shown some promise. Prior to their upset of the Bucks, they lost twice in overtime to the Lakers in the space of three days and were pipped by two by the Nuggets.
OKC came back to earth this week with losses to the Blazers (115-104) and Grizzlies (122-113). Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – who is averaging 22.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.5 assists – returned from a four-game layoff in Memphis and will be a welcome inclusion here.
The Thunder have won seven of their last 11 in Milwaukee. But they were crushed 133-86 at Fiserv Forum last season.
Oklahoma City are a solid 15-12-1 against the line this NBA season. Milwaukee are just 13-16 ATS. The Bucks are 9-4 at home, while the Thunder are a creditable 7-8 on the road.
The Bucks, $1.15 favourites, should end their losing streak here. But the plucky Thunder are too tempting with a double-digit start.
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|Minnesota Timberwolves V Toronto Raptors||Handicap – Rapotrs -2.5 @ $1.87|
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