NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 28th
(All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (25-46) at Oklahoma City Thunder (52-19), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder had a winning streak snapped
last time out, but they'll try and get back in the win column Friday night
when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder had a four-game winning streak come to a crashing halt Tuesday
night with an overtime road loss to the Dallas Mavericks. OKC fell, 128-119,
to also end a three-game road winning streak.
Despite the loss, Kevin Durant's scoring tear continued with 43 points on 15-
of-27 shooting. Durant has now scored at least 25 points in 36 consecutive
games, just four shy of Michael Jordan's all-time record of 40 games.
"We didn't make the big play," Durant said. "They made shots in overtime. You
have to give them credit. We just didn't come through."
Russell Westbrook, who missed Monday's win over Denver to rest his surgically
repaired right knee, returned to the court and contributed 23 points, eight
assists and seven boards.
Serge Ibaka shot 5-for-9 for 10 points.
Derek Fisher led a strong night for the Thunder bench with 13 points. Reggie
Jackson added 11, followed by 10 from Caron Butler and Nick Collison chipped
One loss shouldn't bring anyone to tears over the Thunder. They own the
second-best record in the Western Conference, three games behind the searing
hot San Antonio Spurs, and are seven games ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers
for Northwest Division supremacy.
Oklahoma City plays three straight at home and the residency will culminate
with a matchup against the Spurs on Thursday.
The Kings are headed to the lottery once again and aren't playing well at the
moment. They've dropped two of three, four of six and seven of their last 10
On Wednesday, Sacramento caught an angry New York Knicks squad and paid the
price for an embarrassing Knicks' loss in front of new president Phil Jackson
in Los Angeles the night before.
The Kings fell, 107-99, as Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith combined for 67
DeMarcus Cousins tallied 32 points with 15 rebounds and Ben McLemore notched
16 points in the setback. Travis Outlaw scored 15 and Rudy Gay chipped in 14
for the Kings.
Sacramento point guard Isaiah Thomas missed the contest with a quad contusion.
Ray McCallum scored 10 points in place of Thomas in the starting lineup.
Thomas is listed as questionable for Friday night.
"I loved the fight, I loved the fact that we played with a lot of energy,"
said Kings coach Michael Malone. "I'm disappointed with our defensive effort
as a whole. Give them credit. They made shots, they executed and they played
like it was a must-win game for them."
The Kings will visit Dallas and New Orleans on this trip.
The Thunder have won eight straight and 14 of the last 15 meetings with
Sacramento. The Kings haven't won in OKC since the Thunder moved there before
the 2008-09 season, a span of 10 consecutive games.
03/28 10:24:45 ET