Game 72 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder
Gametime: 5:00 pm PT
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), News 10 (Local Television)
Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (25-46)
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Reggie Evans
C: DeMarcus Cousins
New York Knicks Projected Starters (52-19)
What to watch
1. Does Isaiah Thomas return to the Kings’ line-up?
Sidelined by a right-quad contusion, Thomas missed his first game of the season on Wednesday against the New York Knicks. Ray McCallum started in his place, finishing with 10 points, five assists and six rebounds in defeat. The Kings could use Thomas tonight against Russell Westbrook, one of the league’s elite point guards. They could also use Thomas because they have no other point guards on the roster besides him and McCallum. However, head coach Michael Malone said yesterday that they are in no rush to get Thomas back in the lineup considering they’re playing for nothing here at the end of the season.
2. Will DeMarcus Cousins have another game with point-center numbers?
With Thomas missing action on Wednesday, the Kings needed someone else to step up as a facilitator in the offense. McCallum handled the point guard duties, but it was who Cousins recorded the most assists of any single player on the Kings that evening. The Kings big man recorded eight assists and added 32 points plus 15 rebounds to nearly capture his second-career triple-double. If Thomas can’t play again this evening, the Kings may turn to Cousins to initiate and make plays for teammates in OKC.
3. Will the Kings find a way to slow down Kevin Durant?
Durant is having another terrific month, averaging better than 35 points per game in March. Durant scored 43 points against the Dallas Mavericks, extending his streak of scoring 25 points or more to 36-straight games. With season averages of 32.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists a night, the Thunder superstar is on pace to be one of seven players in NBA history to post at least 31-plus points, seven-plus rebounds and five-plus assists per game.