The Cleveland Cavaliers will look for some payback when they square off against the Oklahoma City Thunder for the second time this season. The Thunder defeated Cleveland late last month, 108-105. Will it be the same story this Thursday? Or, will the Cavs even things up?
Catch this game live on Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 9 AM, Manila time
Away: Cleveland Cavaliers (3-4/2-1 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- Darius Garland
- Donovan Mitchell
- Max Strus
- Evan Mobley
- Jarrett Allen
The Cavaliers scored a morale-boosing victory versus old nemesis Golden State Warriors at home last Monday to prevent another losing skid, with Donovan Mitchell firing 31 points to lead his team to a 115-104 win. The Cavs also made a living on the glass, particularly on the offensive end, as they came down with 41 offensive boards and converted them into 18 second-chance points.
The return of Jarrett Allen from injury has proven to be a major boost for Cleveland, which now boasts of a healthy frontcourt tandem of the former Texas Longhorns star and Evan Mobley. Together, they had 25 points and 25 rebounds (10 offensive) in the win over the Warriors. That should make life harder for Chet Holmgren this time around. Another potential headache for the Thunder this Thursday is Darius Garland, who was also not around in the first meeting with OKC. Garland dropped 24 points versus the Warriors.
Home: Oklahoma City Thunder (4-3/2-3 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- Josh Giddey
- Luguentz Dort
- Jalen Williams
- Chet Holmgren
It’s been quite an adventure of late for the Thunder, who have gone 2-2 straight up in their last four outings, including last Tuesday’s 126-117 home win over the Atlanta Hawks to prevent a three-game skid. Prior to that, the Bolts lost to the Warriors, though, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did not suit up in that game. SGA returned to action in the showdown with Atlanta and went off for 30 points with eight rebounds and six assists.
With Gilgeous-Alexander healthy again, the Thunder’s core will be at full strength in the rematch against the Cavs. The former Kentucky Wildcats star had 34 points in the win over Cleveland, while Lu Dort had 25 points. Holmgren, meanwhile, was a menace on both ends, producing 16 points, 11 boards, and seven blocks. With an eight-ranked 56.3 eFG% and fifth in the league with a 45.9% success rate on mid-range shots, the Thunder are not going to be easy to slow down once they get their rhythm going.
Spread: The Cavs (-2.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (229.0) hits the Under.