Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's Status Tonight vs. Denver Nuggets (January 31)

Playoff race tightens as top Western teams prepare for showdown.

by Nouman Rasool
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's Status Tonight vs. Denver Nuggets (January 31)
© Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, are gearing up to bounce back after their recent 107-101 defeat at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. This loss was a missed opportunity for the Thunder to overtake the Timberwolves and ascend to the Western Conference’s summit.

Currently positioned third with a 32-15 record, the Thunder are set to face the second-placed Denver Nuggets (33-15) in what promises to be a pivotal matchup.

Western Conference Playoff Battle

As the Western Conference's title race intensifies, the Thunder, Nuggets, Timberwolves, and LA Clippers are all in contention.

With just a two-game gap separating these top teams, the upcoming clash between the Thunder and Nuggets is crucial for boosting their chances of clinching the top spot. The Thunder's injury report includes notable names, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander listed as questionable due to an illness.

Teammates Luguentz Dort and Chet Holmgren are also questionable with injuries, while Jalen Williams and Isaiah Joe will not be available for the game. Despite battling a knee injury since early November, two-time All-Star Gilgeous-Alexander has missed only one game this season.

His exceptional form has seen him average 31.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 6.4 assists over 46 games, placing him among the top five MVP candidates. He is also set to start for the Western Conference team in the 2024 NBA All-Star Game.

Gilgeous-Alexander's performance in the loss to the Timberwolves was impressive, tallying 37 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists. However, his efforts fell short in leading the Thunder to victory, marking the team's second consecutive loss.

The upcoming game against the Nuggets marks the fourth and final regular-season meeting between these two Western Conference powerhouses. The Thunder currently lead the season series 2-1, having won their last two encounters against the reigning champions.

A victory in this game would secure the Thunder the tiebreaker over the Nuggets and a strategic advantage in the race for the top spot. Conversely, a win for the Nuggets would tie the series. The game is scheduled to take place at the Peycom Center in Oklahoma City, with tip-off at 8:00 pm ET.

International fans can catch the action on NBA League Pass, while Bally Sports Oklahoma and Altitude will provide local broadcasts. This high-stakes game is a must-watch for basketball fans as both teams vie for supremacy in the fiercely competitive Western Conference.

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