Thunder Roll Past Kings For Fifth Straight Win
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
It wasn’t as pretty as some of the other wins in this streak but the Thunder will certainly take a 110-94 cruise control win over the Sacramento Kings for their fifth straight victory.
OKC blistered the shorthanded Kings in the early going and built their lead up to 27 points (74-47) not quite halfway through the 3rd quarter and that’s where they seemed to start losing interest.
Sacramento cut the lead down to 14 points three times in the 4th quarter but could get no closer.
“I really thought to start the game our guys played exceptionally well and through the first half,” said head coach Billy Donovan. “In the second half, well we got through the second half. We certainly weren’t as good as we were in the first half.”
Donovan blamed some of that on the team’s schedule, a two-game east coast road trip that saw the Thunder getting back to OKC early Friday morning, practicing that day and trying to get ready for an unusual 2pm tip time today.
“I really give our guys a lot of credit for coming out and being ready to play,” in the early going.
The big lead probably had something to do with not being as crisp in parts of the second half too.
Russell Westbrook again led the Thunder charge but he fell just short of his fifth straight triple-double with 28 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists. Westbrook came back into the game halfway through the 4th quarter after the lead had dwindled to 14 points.
Westbrook was asked if he knew how close he was to a triple double, “I just play the game bro.”
Doug McDermott found his shooting stroke again, scoring 21 points on 8-for-9 shooting (4-for-5 on threes) and he grabbed five rebounds.
“I just got into a good rhythm early,” he told reporters. “I got out in transition and hit some shots which got my confidence going. My teammates continued to find me so you’ve got to give them a lot of credit.”
Donovan praised McDermott’s shot selection.
“I thought he did a really nice job of mixing up when to shoot it (from beyond the arc) and when to shot fake and drive it,” Donovan said. “He was effective both ways. He gave us a really nice boost offensively.”
Another guy who had a really nice game was Steven Adams. He finished with 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting and 13 rebounds while also handing out three assists.
“I think Steven can be even better as a passer than he is,” Donovan said. “He’s got really good vision, he’s unselfish and he’s got a really good feel for the game.”
Enes Kanter was the only other Thunder player in double figures, finishing with 14. Victor Oladipo, who’d been on fire the last four games, didn’t quite have it today. He scored nine points on 4-for-15 shooting and was just 1-for-5 on threes.
Overall the Thunder shot 50 percent and made 38.5 percent of their threes.
The win moved the Thunder, for a few hours, into fifth place in the Western Conference. The LA Clippers blew past Cleveland (which rested its Big Three) later Saturday night, moving the Clips back to a half game lead on OKC for the fifth spot.
Monday brings another matchup with the Golden State Warriors, though this time around things may not be quite as intense with Kevin Durant still out of their lineup. However, the Warriors say Durant will make the trip, his first since injuring his knee.
The Warriors have struggled with Durant out of the lineup going 6-5 in his absence. The last couple of games though they've been better, beating Milwaukee 117-92 late Saturday night.
Check out the postgame videos of Billy Donovan, Russell Westbrook and Victor Oladipo on the videos page of our website.