Preview: Sacramento At Oklahoma City
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 6, 2015
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Former league MVP Kevin Durant is off to a strong start after an injury-plagued 2014-15 campaign and has been especially hot the last two weeks. Durant is shooting 53.3 percent from the field in five games since returning from a hamstring injury and looks to continue the surge when his Oklahoma City Thunder host the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.
Durant, who missed 55 games last season, drained 16-of-34 shots from 3-point range while maintaining his team-best 28.2 scoring average the last five contests. However, Oklahoma City blew fourth-quarter leads to lose the last two and will try to take advantage of the road-weary Kings, who are playing their third game in four nights. Sacramento has dropped four of its past five contests, allowing 114 points Thursday against Boston and losing 120-113 at Houston on Saturday night. The Kings, who are near the bottom of the league in points allowed and field goal percentage defense, gave up 36 in the fourth quarter Saturday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSN California (Sacramento), FSN Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)
ABOUT THE KINGS (7-14): Seven players scored in double figures Saturday, led by Ben McLemore’s 19, as Sacramento took a lead into the fourth quarter before dropping to 2-7 on the road. Leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins looks to rebound after making 4-of-17 from the field against Boston and recording 14 points — a little more than half his average — while hampered by foul trouble versus Houston. Point guard Rajon Rondo had 19 assists Saturday after registering 20 combined the previous three games.
ABOUT THE THUNDER (11-8): Oklahoma City struggled on defense while getting outscored 14-4 down the stretch to lose at Atlanta on Monday and managed only 19 points in the fourth quarter of a 97-95 defeat against Miami on Thursday. Russell Westbrook, who is second behind Durant on the team at 27.5 points per game, scored 59 combined in the last two. Serge Ibaka, averaging 12.9 points, was held to nine against Miami and Enes Kanter has cooled off while scoring 8.4 per game the last five.
1. The Thunder is 22-4 versus the Kings since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, including 13-0 at home.
2. Sacramento F Omri Casspi, who missed Thursday’s game due to illness, returned to score 15 points Saturday.
3. Oklahoma City is 192-76 since the start of the 2010-11 season with Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka all in the starting lineup.
PREDICTION: Thunder 112, Kings 100