Game On: Wizards-Thunder preview

Game On: Wizards-Thunder preview
February 1, 2014, 12:00 pm
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Oklahoma City isn't just on a 10-game winning streak -- the longest in the NBA -- they've won three sets of back-to-backs in the process. Saturday's game will represent their fourth. 

TV: Wizards Central pregame show, CSN, 6:30 p.m. ET. The game will tipoff from Verizon Center at 7. Radio: 1500 AM. 106.7 FM.

Last game: Wizards (22-23) lost at the Los Angeles Clippers 110-103 on Wednesday; Thunder (38-10) won at the Brooklyn Nets 120-95 on Friday. Season series: Thunder lead 1-0.

Last meeting: Oklahoma City erased a 10-point lead with 3:19 left to win 106-105 in overtime at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Nov. 10.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Nene, C Marcin Gortat. Thunder –- PG Reggie Jackson, SG Thabo Sefolosha, SF Kevin Durant, PF Serge Ibaka, C Kendrick Perkins.

Entry passes: 1). The Wizards were two points away, Martell Webster had eight, from having seven players in double figures in the first meeting. 2). Keep Durant, the NBA's leading scorer at 31.2 points, off the foul line where he can manufacture points. 3). Coach Scott Brooks is now experimenting with "small ball." 4). Team defense can trump OKC's isolation offense. 5). Make the Thunder a three-point shooting team, which is a weakness. 

X-factors: Beal's 30-minute playing restriction could be lifted after visiting his doctor Friday. ... Reserve F Trevor Booker and G Garrett Temple didn't play because of a coach's decision in the first meeting. ...  F Perry Jones could see more time in the middle than Perkins.  

[RELATED: Beal's minutes will increase, considering 3-point Shootout]

He said it: "John Wall has really turned into a very good player. He has turned his game around. Him and Bradley Beal, they're going to be the best backcourt in the next five years because I love Bradley Beal." -- analyst Charles Barkley on TNT

Around the bend: The Wizards will practice early Sunday and shoot around Monday morning before playing the Portland Trail Blazers in the evening (CSN, 7).