Kings look to upset West's-best OKC

667140.jpg

Kings look to upset West's-best OKC

Kevin Durant has scored 33 points in each of Oklahoma City's last two games in helping the Thunder rally for a pair of victories.The three-time All-Star could be poised for another big outing.Durant looks to lead the Western Conference-best Thunder to a seventh straight win over the Kings on Thursday night at Power Balance Pavilion, one of the two-time scoring champion's favorite arenas.After scoring 13 of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime in Monday's 111-107 victory over Portland, Durant scored 12 in the final period of Tuesday's 119-116 win over Golden State. He made the go-ahead bank shot with 14.2 seconds remaining against the Warriors after putting the finishing touches on Monday's victory with a dunk with 2.9 seconds left.

"It's fun," said Durant, who has reached the 30-point mark five times in the last seven contests after having one 30-point game in his previous 14. "This is what you dream about as a kid. Guys want to take those shots and play in those minutes."The Thunder (20-5) haven't needed any late-game heroics from Durant against the Kings.Oklahoma City has won six straight in the series since a 101-98 loss Nov. 10, 2009, with the four meetings last season being decided by an average of 13.8 points. Not surprisingly, Durant - third in the league with 27.3 points per game - has played a big role in the Thunder's success, especially in Sacramento.In five games at Power Balance Pavilion since 2008-09, Durant is averaging 32.8 points, his best at any arena.Durant, however, isn't the only player the Kings need to worry about on the Thunder, one of the league's highest-scoring teams at 101.2 points per game.Russell Westbrook is averaging 27.1 points in his last seven games, while James Harden is averaging 20.3 on 52.1 percent shooting in his last four. Westbrook had 31 points and seven assists Tuesday to help give the Thunder their fourth win in five games.Oklahoma City's high-powered offense will likely be a big test for Sacramento, which is playing much better defensively.The Kings (9-16) are allowing an average of 94.2 points on 42.7 percent shooting in splitting their last six games after allowing an average of 117.0 points on 52.0 percent shooting in losing their previous three.Sacramento did a good job of shutting down a Minnesota team playing without the suspended Kevin Love on Tuesday, but the offense struggled in an 86-84 defeat.Tyreke Evans, who averages 17.2 points, scored 11 on 5-of-13 shooting, while DeMarcus Cousins shot 3 for 13 and finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds after combining for 49 points and 39 boards in his previous two games.Rookie Jimmer Fredette, benched for two straight games last week, helped pick up the slack, scoring all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter as the Kings nearly erased a nine-point deficit. Sacramento had a chance to win, but Donte Greene's 3-pointer from the corner missed at the buzzer."It would have been a perfect, happy ending to our comeback for that to go in," Greene said. "But it didn't fall."A game against Oklahoma City, which has allowed at least 107 points in each of its last three games, could help Evans and Cousins bounce back from Tuesday's subpar showings.Evans scored 52 points in his two games against the Thunder last season, while Cousins averaged 21.0 points in four - his second-highest average against any team during his rookie season.

Kings PG Lawson entered denial of alleged probation violations

Kings PG Lawson entered denial of alleged probation violations

Sacramento Kings point guard Ty Lawson spent time in a Colorado courtroom Thursday to face allegations of potential probation violations. Lawson was granted a six-week stay in case and will reappear in court on May 4, CSN California has learned through a league source.

According to Jesse Paul of the Denver Post, Lawson, through his attorney Harvey Steinberg, entered a denial of probation violations. Lawson tested positive for alcohol three times in the past year, according to published reports. If true, it would be a violation of his probation. 

Lawson’s legal troubles stem from a 2015 DUI arrest in Denver. The eight-year NBA veteran signed a one-year deal with the Kings on Aug. 31, 2016. Through 63 games, including 21 starts, the 29-year-old guard has posted averages of 9.2 points and 4.7 assists in 25.1 minutes per game. 

He sat out Wednesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks for “planned rest.” Lawson is expected back in a Kings uniform Friday night when they take on the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Report: If Joerger not available, Kings likely would have hired Ewing

Report: If Joerger not available, Kings likely would have hired Ewing

On May 7, 2016, the Grizzlies fired Dave Joerger.

Two days later, the Kings hired Joerger.

If he had not become available, Sacramento likely would have tabbed Patrick Ewing as their head coach, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ewing is currently the associate head coach of the Hornets.

He has been on Charlotte's staff since 2013.

Before that, he was an assistant coach with the Magic for six seasons.

After retiring from the NBA following the 2001-02 season, he was an assistant with Washington for one season before joining the Houston Rockets.

Ewing was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.