Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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NBA Preview: Sacramento Kings (35-25) at Oklahoma City Thunder (28-32)

For the Sacramento Kings, who are 10 games above.500 for the first time since finishing 50-32 in 2004-05, these are exciting times.

When the Sacramento Kings play the Oklahoma City Thunder at the end of their three-game road trip on Tuesday, they will be looking to extend their winning streak to four games.

After Sacramento’s 124-115 victory over the Thunder on Sunday, the teams are meeting for the second time in three days.

The Kings, who average 120.7 points per game and lead the league in scoring, were led by De’Aaron Fox, who scored 33 points and had eight assists. Domantas Sabonis added 14 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists to Keegan Murray’s 20 points in the victory.

The Kings put together a strong offensive effort against Oklahoma City, two days after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 176-175 in double overtime.

Sacramento never trailed against the Thunder after taking an early 13-point lead. 18 of 43 (41.9%) of the Kings’ shots came from three-point range, and their field goal percentage was 52.9%.

Over the course of the previous seven games, Fox has been shooting 57.9 percent from the field while averaging 34.4 points, 6.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.9 steals.

After 16 consecutive losing seasons, Sacramento, which currently holds the third seed in the Western Conference, believes they have the endurance to end the NBA’s longest playoff drought.

Oklahoma City, which may be without All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the third consecutive game, is a three-game series favorite for the Kings.

Due to an abdominal strain and soreness in his right ankle, Gilgeous-Alexander, who is fifth in the league in scoring with 31.0 points per game, is listed as day-to-day.

In the two games since Gilgeous-Alexander’s absence, third-year guard Isaiah Joe has scored an average of 26 points. During that time, Joe is making contributions on the defensive end while also making 10 of 20 attempts (50 percent) from 3-point range.

Despite its three-game losing streak, the young team at Oklahoma City has a few bright spots. In the loss on Sunday, second-year guard Josh Giddey had 18 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

On Sunday, the Thunder were able to keep Sacramento within striking distance despite having Gilgeous-Alexander on the bench. Mike Brown, the Kings’ head coach, was impressed by the team’s consistent effort.

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