Instant Replay: Kings fall just short in battle with Westbrook, Thunder

Instant Replay: Kings fall just short in battle with Westbrook, Thunder

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO --  It’s coming undone. The Sacramento Kings dropped another one at home Sunday night, falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder by a final of 122-118. The Kings are now just 1-5 on their season-long seven-game homestand and they’ve trailed by 14 or more points in each game.

Russell Westbrook pushed the ball every chance he got and when he wasn’t scoring at the rim or getting fouled, he was burying 3-pointers. The perennial MVP candidate posted a 36-point, 10-assist, 11-rebound triple-double in the win. He also turned the ball over six times, but his ability to get his team out in transition buried the Kings.

With all eyes on Westbrook, Victor Oladipo found plenty of room to operate. The Thunder’s starting shooting guard scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half.

Big man Enes Kanter had a nice night, hitting Sacramento for 29 points and 12 rebounds off the Thunder bench and Alex Abrines hit 3-of-4 from deep on his way to 13 points. 

DeMarcus Cousins struggled from the field early on, but got his game on track late. Sacramento’s star big posted 31 points, 11 rebounds and handed out seven assists, but it wasn’t enough to get the Kings over the hump. 

Rudy Gay came out aggressive against Oklahoma. The 30-year-old forward finished the night with 22 points on 6-for-18 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds. 

Darren Collison added 21 points and two assists. Anthony Tolliver knocked in both of his 3-point shots on his way to 10 points and Garrett Temple added eight points, four rebounds and three assists as the Kings fell to 16-24 on the season. 

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Westbrook is a star, but Kanter was the game changer in this one. The big out of Kentucky lit the Kings up in post. His seven offensive rebounds were huge and so was his 9-of-11 shooting from the free throw line.  

TURNING POINT

The Kings came out flat in the first half and trailed by as many as 17. They had opportunities in the second half, even cutting the lead to three with 26.5 seconds remaining, but the huge early deficit proved too much.

INJURY UPDATE 

Ty Lawson turned his left ankle late in the game and did not return. Big man Steven Adams hit his head in the early third quarter and underwent tests for a concussion. 

WHAT'S NEXT 

Sacramento finishes their season-long seven-game homestand Wednesday when the Indiana Pacers make their way to the Golden 1 Center. Following the game, the Kings leave Sacramento, embarking on an eight-game road trip beginning Friday evening with the Memphis Grizzlies.

NBA Gameday: Westbrook not only Thunder player Kings need to slow down

NBA Gameday: Westbrook not only Thunder player Kings need to slow down

SACRAMENTO -- After dropping another game Friday night, the Sacramento Kings are now 1-4 on their season-long seven-game homestand. They’ll need a team effort on Sunday evening if they hope to slow down superstar Russell Westbrook and his Oklahoma City Thunder team.

Ty Lawson continues to pay dividends for the Kings. The 29-year-old point guard came off the bench to drop in 17 points and hand out four assists in 26 minutes of action. Over his last five contests, Lawson is averaging 14.4 points per game on 52 percent shooting.

The Thunder stumbled Friday night in Minnesota, losing to the Timberwolves by a final of 96-86 to kick off their six-game road trip. Westbrook posted his 19th triple-double of the season, but also turned the ball over 10 times. The five-time All-Star leads the league in scoring at 30.8 points a night, but he’s also posting 10.5 assists and 10.7 rebounds per game.

OPENING LINE:
Thunder by 1.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Steven Adams -- Cousins is fresh off a 26-point, 11-assist, eight-rebound night against the Cavs on Friday night, but he turned the ball over six times in the loss. The last time these two teams met, Cousins dropped 36 points and 13 rebounds on Adams as the Kings came away with the 15-point win. Adams, 23, is one of the strongest players in the NBA. He’s posting career-highs across the board and he’s an exceptional post defender. The contrast in style between these two bigs is enormous, but they are both major cogs in their team’s game plan.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 16-23, third place in Pacific

Thunder: 24-17, second place in Northwest

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: No injuries to report.

Thunder: No injuries to report.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Kings lead the season series 1-0 after beating the Thunder 116-101 at the Golden 1 Center on Nov. 23. The Thunder hold a 140-85 all-time lead over the Kings and an 83-49 advantage in the Sacramento-era.

QUOTE:
“Turnovers killed us. When you play a team of this caliber, you just can’t spot them points like we did tonight. We have to be as disciplined and fundamental as we can be when you play a team this good.” -DeMarcus Cousins on Sacramento’s loss to the Cavs on Friday night