Oklahoma City has been a longshot to win an NBA title this season after trading its two best players last summer. But expectations are shifting.
"I really don't think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership," the Los Angeles Lakers star said.
Oklahoma City Thunder (42-25, fifth in the Western Conference) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (32-37, eighth in the Western Conference)Lake Buena Vista, Florida; Friday, 4 p.m. EDTBOTTOM LINE: Memphis heads into the matchup with Oklahoma City as losers of five in a row.The Grizzlies have gone 19-26 against Western Conference opponents. Memphis ranks seventh in the Western Conference with 10.3 offensive rebounds per game led by Jonas Valanciunas averaging 3.0.The Thunder are 27-16 against conference opponents. Oklahoma City is 29-5 when winning the rebound battle and averages 42.8 rebounds per game.The Grizzlies won the last meeting between these two squads 110-97 on Dec. 26. Valanciunas scored 21 points to help lead Memphis to the win.TOP PERFORMERS: Dillon Brooks is second on the Grizzlies with 2.0 made 3-pointers, and is averaging 15.8 points while shooting 35.8% from beyond the arc. Ja Morant is averaging 1.5 made 3-pointers and 18.9 points over the last 10 games for Memphis.Steven Adams leads the Thunder with 9.4 rebounds and averages 11.1 points. Chris Paul is averaging 19.5 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 54.4% over the last 10 games for Oklahoma City.LAST 10 GAMES: Grizzlies: 4-6, averaging 113.4 points, 47.5 rebounds, 25.6 assists, 7.7 steals and 5.3 blocks per game while shooting 46.3% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 107.8 points on 42.1% shooting.Thunder: 7-3, averaging 108.9 points, 40.4 rebounds, 19.8 assists, 8.1 steals and 5.7 blocks per game while shooting 47.6% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 108.7 points on 44.9% shooting.INJURIES: Grizzlies: Jaren Jackson Jr.: out for season (meniscus), Tyus Jones: out (knee).Thunder: Mike Muscala: out (concussion), Terrance Ferguson: out (leg), Dennis Schroder: out (personal).___The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.The Associated Press