Game 44 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Russell Westbrook attacks the rim against Isaiah Thomas. (Photo: Darren Hall)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where: Sacramento, CA.

Broadcast Information: TV – News10, Radio – CBS Sports 1140

For Thunder perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate Daily Thunder.

The book on the Thunder: Not much has changed since they played the Kings last month.  Oklahoma City is still one of the best teams in the NBA and arguably the best team in the Western Conference.  They are coming off a tough loss, however, to the Golden State Warriors.  The Thunder fell 104-99 to the Warriors in a tightly-contested game at Oracle Arena.

Did you know?  OKC is ranked first in the following offensive categories: points per game (105.9), free throw percentage (83.8), 3-point percentage (39.1) and point differential (8.7).

Status Updates: None to report.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (16-27)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Oklahoma City Thunder Probable Starters (33-10)

PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Thabo Sefolosha
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Serge Ibaka
C: Kendrick Perkins

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 97.1
  • Offensive Rating: 101.6
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 102.2
  • Defensive Rating: 108.3
  • Pace: 94.62

Thunder

  • Points Per Game: 105.9
  • Offensive Rating: 110.2
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 96
  • Defensive Rating: 100.2
  • Pace: 95.39

Three questions to ponder

1.  What kind of outing will former King Kevin Martin have?

Several years ago, Martin was considered the Kings’ franchise player.  But after a few injury plagued seasons following the signing of a contract extension in Sacramento, he found himself out the door and headed to Houston.  The last time these two teams met, Martin expressed no added motivation to perform well against the team that drafted him.  However, this could be the last visit ever the Thunder guard makes to Sacramento.  Will he try to put on a show for the Kings faithful?

2.  Will Thomas Robinson continue to play at a high level?

The rookie forward is playing some of his best basketball this season.  Robinson put together one of his best efforts as a pro on Wednesday, recording his second career double-double in the loss to the Suns.  He’s talked a lot about focusing on his strengths lately and it’s shown especially in the rebounding category.  In four of his last nine games, the 21-year-old forward has tallied double figures in boards.  With Jason Thompson struggling on the glass, the Kings will need the extra lift that Robinson can provide.

3.  Can Isaiah Thomas bounce back from a sluggish performance?

Thomas struggled with his shot on Wednesday.  The Kings starting point guard only made two of his 10 shots and scored just six points.  He also missed all three 3-point attempts in the defeat to the Suns.  He performed far below his season average in his last outing, so it’s not unreasonable to believe he’ll have a stronger effort against Oklahoma City.  Thomas did have one of his best games of the season against the Thunder.  He scored 23 of his 26 points against OKC in the fourth quarter.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.