NBA viewing guide: Thunder host Warriors on busy Black Friday

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The day after Thanksgiving features a full menu of 13 NBA games.

Now that everybody has had a chance to fatten up after a Thanksgiving feast, it's time to fatten up on some hot NBA action on Black Friday. After a day off to celebrate Turkey Day, 13 games are on the menu in The Association, with a high profile matchup in the Western Conference providing the most to chew on. Let's take a closer look at the big menu of games.


San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic

7 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

Stop the presses, the Spurs are actually coming off a loss! San Antonio saw their 11-game winning streak snapped Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, putting forth arguably their worst offensive performance of the season. The Spurs shot a season-worst 39.1 percent from the field and scored under 90 points for just the second time all year in a 94-88 loss.

The Magic should be a much easier test than the Thunder, although Orlando has played well at home this season. The Magic are just 6-9 on the year, but they're 5-4 at the Amway Center and have been a much better defensive team on their home court. Orlando's defense is nearly five points per 100 possessions better at home than on the road, per's stats page.

Reading material: Pounding The Rock: An alternate history of the 2014 SpursOrlando Pinstriped Post: Big Baby and Vucevic carve turkey

Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors

7 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

The Miami Heat offense has been spectacular all season, boasting the league's best offensive rating. But it's their defense that has helped propel them to an eight-game winning streak. During the streak, the Heat have given up just 91.9 points per game while forcing teams to cough the ball up just over 19 times per game.

That's not good news for a Raptors team known for throwing up a lot of bricks. Toronto is in the bottom third of the league in true shooting percentage, with Rudy Gay really struggling. Where the Raptors could make up some ground is on the boards, as they're tops in the league in offensive rebound percentage.

Reading material: Hot Hot Hoops: Heat-Cavs recapRaptors HQ: Understanding the Raptors' ineptitude

Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks

7:30 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

Just a week ago, the Hawks could lay claim to the "distinguished" honor of being the third-best team in the Eastern Conference. Three losses later, with all three easily categorized as ugly ones, and Atlanta has fallen back into the pack of mish-mash that is the East behind Miami and Indiana. Things won't get easier for the Hawks with the Mavs coming to town, especially if sharpshooter Kyle Korver sits out again with a rib contusion. If Korver plays, he'll be gunning to tie Dana Barros' record of consecutive games with a made three-pointer.

Dallas has one of the league's most explosive offenses, with Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki leading the charge. Ellis suffered through a rough 2-of-16 shooting night on Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors, but the Mavs still pulled out a 103-99 victory.

Reading material: Mavs Moneyball: Previewing Mavs-HawksPeachtree Hoops: Lou Williams gives back on Thanksgiving

Los Angeles Lakers at Detroit Pistons

7:30 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

When the Lakers aren't busy clowning the Brooklyn Nets, they've actually been playing some pretty impressive ball on the court. Los Angeles has won four of their last five games and have the opportunity to get over .500 with Kobe Bryant nearing a return to action.

Meanwhile, the Pistons continue to stumble along in the early going of this season. Following two straight wins, Detroit was embarrassed at home by the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls, who had just been coming off two rough losses.

Reading material: Silver Screen and Roll: Kobe's extension complicates rebuildDetroit Bad Boys: Drummond a steal in 2012 draft

Main Course

Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder

8 p.m. ET, NBA TV

The Thunder and Warriors played in an epic duel on TNT two weeks ago, with Andre Iguodala nailing a fadeaway game-winner at the buzzer after it appeared Russell Westbrook had won it for Oklahoma City. But since then, things have been coming up Milhouse for the Thunder, while the Warriors have slumped as Iguodala recovers from a strained hamstring.

Oklahoma City hasn't lost since that game, and they're coming off an impressive win over San Antonio. The Thunder now boast the third-best record in the Western Conference and haven't lost a single game at Chesapeake Energy Arena all season.

Golden State has gone in the opposite direction, losers of four of five after an 8-3 start. The only win during that stretch was a one-point victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, a game that easily could have been a loss considering Eric Gordon had a wide open attempt at the buzzer rim out.

Can Thunder bench keep up strong play? In the first meeting between the two teams, the Thunder scored 115 points, but the bench only had 25. In the win over the Spurs, the Thunder bench had 39 points to help make up for the struggles of Russell Westbrook. Reggie Jackson had 23 of those, while Jeremy Lamb added 12. Lamb has scored in double figures in each of the last three games, shooting 56.7 percent in the process.

Can the Warriors' D step up without Iguodala? The presence of Iguodala to go along with Andrew Bogut down low helped transform the Warriors into one of the better defensive teams in the league at the outset of the year. But with Iggy out, Golden State's defense has taken a hit. The Warriors have given up 100 points or more in each of the last four games, and the high-powered Thunder attack likely won't give any reprieve.

Reading material: Golden State Of Mind: Warriors-Mavs recapWelcome to Loud City: Breaking down Jackson's big effort vs. Spurs

Side Dishes

Brooklyn Nets at Houston Rockets

8 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

The Nets are the laughingstock of the league following their debacle against the Lakers. Between Jason Kidd's "Cupgate" incident that earned the first-year head coach a $50,000 fine, the Lakers invading their huddle and the fact that the team just stinks right now, things aren't going so well in Brooklyn.

Playing the red-hot Rockets is no way to turn things around, although Brook Lopez may return to the lineup from a an ankle injury. James Harden may be out again with a sore foot, but it's not as if Houston has had much problem with the star guard out of the lineup. The Rockets have won three straight games without Harden and have gotten some excellent play from their bench. Jeremy Lin will miss the game and is out at least two weeks due to a knee injury.

Reading material: NetsDaily: Nets-Rockets previewThe Dream Shake: Previewing Nets-Rockets

Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers

8 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

With the Spurs falling on Wednesday, the Pacers once again have the league's best record at 14-1. The one blowout loss at the hands of the Bulls seems long ago, as Indiana has been mostly dominant since then while the Rose injury has widened the chasm greatly between the two squads.

The Wizards have finally found a bit of a groove after a woeful start. Washington has won three games in a row and five of six, catapulting themselves back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture. John Wall has spurred the charge, with averages of 26.6 points and 6.8 assists in the last five games.

Reading material: Looking back at the Wizards' win over the BucksIndy Cornrows: Wizards-Pacers links

New Orleans Pelicans at Philadelphia 76ers

8 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

Jrue Holiday returns to Philadelphia for the first time since the shocking draft day trade that sent the All-Star point guard to New Orleans and gave the the Sixers a coveted 2014 first-round pick along with Nerlens Noel. Holiday has been just so-so for the Pelicans thus far, although his shooting has started to pick up after a cold start.

Holiday's replacement in Philadelphia, Michael Carter-Williams, leads all rookies with averages of 17.8 points and 7.0 assists. But the Sixers have fallen hard back down to earth after a surprising start, and they're giving up 109.1 points per game, worst in the league. Spencer Hawes hopes to return to the lineup on Friday.

Reading material: The Bird Writes: The perils of the mid-range jumperLiberty Ballers: Examining the Evan Turner for Dion Waiters trade rumors


New York Knicks at Denver Nuggets

9 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

It's always notable when Carmelo Anthony comes back to Denver, and it seems especially notable now that the Knicks are a train wreck and losers of seven straight. Anthony is almost at a loss for words when attempting to describe the team's struggles, and New York held a second players-only meeting of the season following their most recent loss.

While the Knicks are reeling, the Nuggets have gotten things back on track after an ugly start. Denver has won four games in a row and have won seven of their last nine. The offense is humming again with Ty Lawson at the helm, as the Nuggets are sixth in the league in scoring and seventh in offensive rating.

Reading material: Posting and Toasting: Melo and Metta talk losing streakDenver Stiffs: George Karl opens up

Los Angeles Clippers at Sacramento Kings

10:30 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

The explosive Clippers suffered a bit of a scare Wednesday night when Chris Paul left the win over the Knicks with a strained right hamstring. But Paul plans to play against the Kings, which is obviously great news for Los Angeles. The Clippers' offense has been superb this season with Paul running the show, ranking toward the top of the league in many offensive categories.

This will already be the third meeting between the two West Coast teams, with the Clippers winning both previous meetings. The Kings nearly pulled off an upset at the Staples Center last week behind 23 points and 19 rebounds from DeMarcus Cousins, but they came up just short. Sacramento remained at Staples Center the next night, suffering a bad loss to the Lakers.

Reading material: Clips Nation: Clippers-Kings previewSactown Royalty: Kings help local families on Thanksgiving

Pass It On

Milwaukee Bucks at Charlotte Bobcats

7 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

The Bucks are the worst team in a terrible Eastern Conference. The Bobcats are the lowest-scoring team in the league. That makes for a game nobody should want to watch.

Reading material: Recapping the Bucks' latest lossRufus On Fire: 2014 first-round pick status

Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics

7:30 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

Outside of the Nets and Knicks, the Cavs may be biggest disappointment of this young season. Many were expecting Cleveland to make a playoff push under Mike Brown, but the team has struggled on both sides of the ball and also have chemistry issues. The Celtics, meanwhile, are just kind of blah.

Reading material: Fear The Sword: Why is Waiters bad at the rim?CelticsBlog: Getting behind the rebuilding effort

Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz

9 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

The Suns have managed to stay afloat without Eric Bledsoe, and they're generally pretty fun to watch. Goran Dragic is playing at a high level and Channing Frye is starting to get in a groove. But the Jazz bring the fun quotient down too much, so this is one to skip unless you're really starving for more hoops.

Reading material: Bright Side Of The Sun: Suns love launching threesSLC Dunk: Enes Kanter progress report

More from SB Nation NBA:

Nets’ Jason Kidd spills ice on the court | Lakers invade huddle

The Nets’ near-collapse in Toronto

The Hook: Kobe, Lakers made easy choice | Kobe defends extension

Is Roy Hibbert getting preferential treatment??

Andre Iguodala, Warriors perfect for each other

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