Expert Cappers Picks
National Basketball Association
Preview
Oklahoma City at Phoenix
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 17, 2018
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona

The Oklahoma City Thunder are proving they don't need Russell Westbrook to win games, though they wouldn't mind having him back. The Thunder will go for their 10th win in 11 games when they visit the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.

Westbrook (ankle) sat out the last five games and watched as his team handed out 32 assists in a 128-103 thrashing of the New York Knicks on Wednesday. "We are just tightening screws," Oklahoma City All-Star forward Paul George told reporters. "We want to play our best ball at the end of the year and hopefully we have everybody back at that point. We are taking strides, learning each game, seeing what works and what doesn't." The Suns are trying to find out what works and what doesn't as well and found a formula for success in a 116-96 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, snapping a four-game slide. "Guys came ready to play from jump ball with a lot of energy," Phoenix SF TJ Warren told reporters. "A lot togetherness. Everybody was intact together."

TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS Oklahoma, FS Arizona (Phoenix)

ABOUT THE THUNDER (9-5): George scored a season-high 35 points on 13-of-22 shooting on Wednesday for his second straight 30-point performance. "We fed the hot hand with (George)," guard Terrance Ferguson told reporters. "Everybody is cheering him on. We don’t care where you pull it from, just pull it. We know it's going to go in, that's the kind of player it is. ... When he gets hot it's something special." George is getting plenty of help from point guard Dennis Schroder, who collected 15 points and 12 assists while starting in place of Westbrook on Wednesday.

ABOUT THE SUNS (3-11): Phoenix's formula for success could be using shooting guard Devin Booker as the playmaker, and he showed off his ability in that regard with a career-high 12 assists on Wednesday. "I always want to be known as a basketball player, not just a scorer," Booker told reporters. "I've had my scoring days. I just to win games now so whatever I have to do, if it's sacrificing my body, I’ll do it." Booker, who leads the team in scoring at an average of 23.3 points, scored 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting in the victory.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Suns PG Isaiah Canaan went 5-of-5 from beyond the arc on Wednesday.

2. Thunder C Steven Adams is 26-of 37 from the floor over the last three games.

3. Oklahoma City took the last four in the series, including a 118-101 home win on Monday in which George scored 32 points.

PREDICTION: Thunder 115, Suns 110
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Oklahoma City 9-5 W2 6-2 3-3 0-0 9-5 0-0 5-4
Phoenix 3-11 W1 3-5 0-6 0-0 3-11 0-2 3-8
Last Meeting
Oklahoma City Phoenix
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/12/18 PHO 101 OKC 118 118 42 46.7 101 37 48.1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City P. George 32 57.9 4
Phoenix T. Warren 21 71.4 0
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City P. George 8 1 7
Phoenix D. Ayton 7 2 5
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City D. Schroder 9
Phoenix D. Booker 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City P. George 400 41.8 81
Phoenix D. Ayton 294 60.8 46
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City S. Adams 170 82 88
Phoenix D. Ayton 182 48 134
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City D. Schroder 101
Phoenix D. Booker 76
Quickchart Matchup
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Off vs  Phoenix Phoenix Defense
Oklahoma City Off vs Phoenix - Points For 111.0 Points For
Oklahoma City Off vs Phoenix - Points Against 113.4 Points Against
Oklahoma City - FG% 45.0 FG%
Phoenix - FG% 48.4 FG%
Oklahoma City - Reb 46.8 Reb
Phoenix - Reb 44.3 Reb
Phoenix Phoenix Off vs  Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Defense
Phoenix Off vs Oklahoma City - Points For 102.2 Points For
Phoenix Off vs Oklahoma City - Points Against 105.9 Points Against
Phoenix - FG% 45.4 FG%
Oklahoma City - FG% 45.3 FG%
Phoenix - Reb 41.1 Reb
Oklahoma City - Reb 43.3 Reb