Thunder vs. Nuggets preview: High-octane offenses face off Friday night

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Nuggets in Denver for Friday's nightcap to kick off the month of March.

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets battle it out on ESPN Friday for some primetime basketball. The Thunder are in the midst of a fierce battle at the top of the Western Conference, while the fifth-seeded Nuggets look to improve their playoff position before the clock runs out in the final stretch of the season.

With a seven-win, four-loss February behind them, the Thunder will make a push for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference to close out their season. Oklahoma City split the two games they've played against the Nuggets earlier in the season. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 125 of the 235 points the Thunder scored against Denver in the two prior meetings.

Durant will be coming fresh off of dropping a triple-double against the Hornets. His 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists propelled the Thunder as they demolished New Orleans. Oh, and he compiled that trio of stats in only 26 minutes of playing time.

Oklahoma City is on a three-game winning streak, which includes a 30-point victory over the Chicago Bulls and a utterly dominant 45-point win over the Hornets. Denver, however, has lost a mere three games on their home court, and defeated the Thunder once already in the thin air of the mile-high city.

The Nuggets are on a three-game winning streak of their own, though all three victories are against teams under .500 on the season. Still, their home record of 24 wins and only three losses is impressive and is second only to the Miami Heat's 25 wins at home. While on their home court, the Nuggets have outscored their opponents by an average of 9.9 points per game.

With two of the leagues top-scoring offenses taking the floor this should be an incredibly fast-paced game. The Thunder are averaging a league-best 106.8 points per game this season, and the Nuggets are at third in the league with 105.5 points per game. The Nuggets may be without forward Danilo Gallinari, however, as he has missed Denver's last two games with a bruised left thigh.

Over the last ten games, Ty Lawson has stepped up to lead his team as he has averaged 23.1 points and 8.1 assists during that period.

Game time: 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

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