Pistons vs Thunder – 4/5/19 NBA Pick, Odds, and Predictions
Detroit Pistons vs Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Basketball Friday, April5, 2019 (8:05pm et) Current Odds: Okc -9, Total Points 215
The Oklahoma City Thunder know they’re in the playoffs, even with their shaky play since the All-Star break.
With four games left, the Detroit Pistons are currently in the playoffs but their position is much less certain after back-to-back losses.
Friday, the teams meet in Oklahoma City in a game that could be critical for both teams’ playoff futures.
The Thunder won the only previous meeting between the teams, 110-83, in Detroit on Dec. 3.
The Pistons come into the game in sixth place in the Eastern Conference but just one game ahead of No. 9 Miami as they seek their first playoff appearance since 2016 and just their second since 2009.
They’ve been making their closing push so far without star forward Blake Griffin.
Griffin has missed the last three games with left knee soreness and his status for Friday’s game is unclear as he continues to battle pain in the joint.
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Cleveland (19-59) is sputtering to the finish with six straight setbacks and is 0-3 on a five-game road swing.
The Cavaliers also will likely be without power forward Kevin Love (shoulder) for the third straight game.
Meanwhile, rookie point guard Collin Sexton is finishing the season with a flourish, having scored 20 or more points in 12 of the past 13 games. He had 18 points in the other contest.
Sexton is averaging 24.0 points and has made 37 of 79 3-point attempts during the span.
Sexton had 21 points in Monday’s 122-113 loss to the Phoenix Suns, a contest in which Cleveland trailed by 19 at halftime.
“We got down pretty big, and it’s hard to come back in the NBA because teams are too good, players are too good and coaches are really smart,” Sexton told reporters. “When we got down, it was tough for us to rev it back up.”
The Cavaliers are just 6-33 on the road, and coach Larry Drew is well aware that needs to change.
“One thing that I have put an emphasis on with this club is learning how to play on the road,” Drew told reporters. “When you do that, you don’t put yourself into a position like we put ourselves into (Monday night). But I can’t fault the effort. I can’t fault the fact they kept playing hard — they just came up short.”
Sacramento won the season’s previous meeting, 129-110 in Cleveland on Dec. 7. Point guard De’Aaron Fox recorded 30 points and 12 assists, and Hield added 25 points.
Backup guard Jordan Clarkson scored 26 points for the Cavaliers, and Sexton added 23.
The Kings will be without rookie big man Harry Giles III for the rest of the season with a thigh injury. Giles will ended up missing the season’s final 11 games.
“He’s got stiffness in his thigh that just isn’t changing, so we’d rather err on the side of caution and get to his therapy, rehab and workout regimen for the summer,” Sacramento coach Dave Joerger told reporters. “Perhaps we’ll see him in summer league or something like that. That would be good.”
411Winners Pick and Prediction: Oklahoma City -3.5 First Half