Sacramento Kings Unable To Withstand Second Half Storm By Thunder, Lose 95-88

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JANUARY 15: Russell Westbrook
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JANUARY 15: Russell Westbrook /

The Sacramento Kings extend their losing streak to five games with tonight’s defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 95-88.

With the Sacramento Kings dropping their last four games, they looked to complete an upset against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although Sacramento started the game strong, Oklahoma City brought down the Thunder in the second half which secured them the victory.

Here is how tonight’s contest went down in the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Strong Start For The Purple

The Kings were ready to play from the beginning of tip-off. The purple and white were aggressive and played solid defense which caused Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to be limited offensively. This resulted in Russell Westbrook being the only scoring asset for Oklahoma City in the quarter which led to the Kings holding a 24-20 lead once the first period concluded.

The second quarter continued to go the Kings’ way. Although the Thunder found their way offensively, scoring 26 points for the quarter, the Kings were also able to score the ball effectively as well.

The point guards for Sacramento were exceptional for the half. For De’Aaron Fox, he did a good job in running the offense as he scored 10 points and distributed five assists. For Hill, he provided a spark off the bench as he recorded 10 points himself. Going into halftime, the Kings led 52-46.

The Storm Came And Conquered

A big reason for the Kings’ success in the first half was due to the efforts of limiting the OK3 of Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony, with Westbrook being the only positive impact so far in the game.

In the third period, it all changed for the Thunder as both George and Anthony started to make their presence known. Especially for Anthony, he scored 15 points for the quarter which gave his team the momentum throughout the third. A 31-16 period in favor of Oklahoma City put the Kings in a 77-68 hole going into the final quarter of the game.

The fourth quarter continued to go Oklahoma City’s way. Both teams were unable to score in the first three minutes of the period, but Patrick Patterson erupted for the Thunder with back-to-back threes to give his team a comfortable lead.

The Kings’ offense was stalled for the majority of the quarter, but due to Westbrook being ejected from the match, the purple and white found new life as they were able to cut the lead into single digits in crunch time.

Unfortunately, the Thunder still had two of their star players on the court which inevitably prevented the Kings from making any type of wild comeback.

Final Thoughts

It seemed like tonight was going to be one of those wacky games where the Kings are able to upset a playoff-caliber team. But the Thunder showed their true star power in the final two quarters which overwhelmed the Kings until the clock hit triple zeros.

Game’s Takeaways

Listed down below are the takeaways from the game. Do not worry, not all of them are negative pertaining to the Kings.

  • Willie Cauley-Stein continues to show his potential as he recorded 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
  • Both De’Aaron Fox and George Hill had solid performances tonight as the duo finished with 22 points on 8-16 shooting from the floor.
  • The Thunder dominated the boards as they outrebounded the Kings 58-37. Players like Westbrook (16) and Steven Adams (13) led the way for the Thunder in this aspect.
  • The three-headed monster for the Thunder performed well tonight as they combined for 57 points, 29 rebounds, and 14 assists.
  • Skal Labissiere started the game strong but declined in the second half. He finished the game with seven points and seven rebounds.
  • Buddy Hield was able to score 16 points for the night as he found most of his scoring success in the second half.
  • Ball movement was much better for Sacramento compared to their most recent games. They finished the night with 22 assists but also turned the ball over 14 times.

Next time the Kings take the hardwood will be against the Utah Jazz Wednesday night. 

Despite a Kings loss, I hope everyone has enjoyed their holiday of commemorating the historical figure, Martin Luther King!