After having five straight home games with days off in between, the Thunder's schedule now becomes significantly more cramped.
OKC will play five games this week, with two against Portland. Eight of the Thunder's next nine games will be back-to-back. Six of those eight back-to-back contests are on the road with four games against playoff teams, including Denver twice.
“There's not a lot of practice days left, so we have to take advantage of them,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
The back-to-backs are: vs. Golden State (Tuesday)/at Phoenix (Wednesday); at Portland (Friday)/at LA Clippers (Saturday); at Denver (April 5)/vs. LA Clippers (April 6); at LA Lakers (April 10)/at Sacramento (April 11).
The Thunder clinched a playoff spot Sunday with a 99-90 victory over Portland, which also gave OKC the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Trail Blazers. The Thunder leads the season series 3-0 against the Blazers.
The Thunder also is in good shape for the next tiebreaker, which is division record. OKC is 11-2 against Northwest Division teams this season, while Denver is 8-4 and Portland is 8-6.
The next tiebreaker is conference record, where the Thunder is 26-17, while Denver and Portland are 24-19.
The Thunder hosts Golden State at 7 p.m. Tuesday. When the teams last met in Oakland on Feb. 13, the Warriors posted a 100-94 victory thanks primarily to an astonishing 20-2 advantage in offensive rebounds. OKC also had 20 turnovers that led to 20 Golden State points.