Sacramento, CA – One of the most entertaining games of the season took place last Saturday at Chesapeake Arena. The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Golden State Warriors in overtime after Stephen Curry made an outrageous three-point shot for the win.
Last night they begin a four-game road with the first stop at Sleep Train Arena. The Thunder recovered from that heartbreaking loss to the Warriors by dominating the Kings 131-116. Sacramento was without Rudy Gay (right shoulder strain) and Seth Curry (right foot sprain).
“I think we’re all frustrated,” said Kings coach George Karl. “We’re playing three of the best efficient offensive teams in basketball. We seem like we’re doing some good things and then all of a sudden we hit a black hole or they get a momentum swing. Their bench kicked us early in the first half and then beat us in the second half.”
OKC got a huge lift from their bench, Enes Kanter had 23 points and Dion Waiters was made three 3-pointers and shot 8 of 11 finishing with 22 points. Kevin Durant recorded 27 points while Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 20 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists.
“A lot of times our bench doesn’t get this kind of scoring opportunity,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “The second unit with Kevin in there was really moving the ball. It was good to see us come out and play the way we did. It was a nice team effort.”
DeMarcus Cousins recorded his 35th double-double of the season with 35 points and team-high 12 rebounds. Rajon Rondo who was a game-time decision dished out 12 assists, reaching double-digit assists for the 39th time this season, tying Reggie Theus (1985-86) for the most games with 10 or more assists in the Sacramento.
The Kings played without second-leading scorer and are now 4-4 this season without Gay in the lineup. Early, in the first quarter, Quincy Acy was called for a technical foul. That led to a light shoving match between Cousins and Durant. Rondo also picked up two odd delay-of-game technicals while trying to inbound the ball.
“It’s lovely. That’s lovely,” said Durant regarding the technicals. “That’s like Christmas. You know coming in here this team, they have a little hot head so you know at some point you’re going to get free points.”
Oklahoma City got to the line for five technical fouls. They also shot a season-high 57 percent, made 14 3-pointers and recorded 28 assists. The 131 points set a new Kings’ opponent season-high points, surpassing the 129 points scored by Charlotte on January 25.
It was the second-most points the Thunder have scored this season, following a 139-point performance in the second game of the season at Orlando on October 30. Kanter was a perfect 11-of-11 from the field and 1-of-1 from the line off the bench. The 11 made field goals were a season-high.
“There’s a chip on their shoulder – we don’t have that right now,” Omri Casspi said. We lost a few games in a row and we’re not bringing the same mentality. They have it; they did it. They’re proving it. They lost a tough game against Golden State at home. The good teams bring it.”