SACRAMENTO KINGS

Preview: Kings open six-game homestand against SGA, Thunder

Dec 14, 2023, 9:25 AM | Updated: 9:43 am

Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings passes the ball against Luguentz Dort #5 and Chet Holm...

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Two up-and-coming Western Conference contenders will come face-to-face for the second time this season when the Sacramento Kings meet the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.

Sacramento (13-9) will play its next six games at Golden 1 Center, where they have thrived so far this season as they enter play with a 7-3 record on their home floor.

Oklahoma City (15-7) has been one of the larger surprises from the early stages of this season, as the Thunder have won 10 of their past 13 games since losing to the Kings on November 10th.

Even with De’Aaron Fox sidelined due to an ankle sprain, Sacramento used big nights from Kevin Huerter (28 points) and Keegan Murray (24 points) to pick up a 105-98 win in the only meeting between the two teams this season.

With Fox ready to go this time, we’re set to take in an exciting matchup between these two Western Conference counterparts.

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Sacramento Kings vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Game Info

When: 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center – Sacramento, CA

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 5:30 PM on Game Night

Line: Kings -1.5, O/U 239.5

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Thunder coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

Tickets: Click here

A Rare Advantage On The Glass

It’s not too often that Sacramento will enter a matchup with an edge on the boards.

The Kings (19th in the NBA) are not a strong rebounding team, but Oklahoma City (27th) enters play as one of the worst teams in the league in that department.

During Sacramento’s win over the Thunder on November 10th, they out-rebounded Oklahoma City 52-38 (their most significant rebounding differential this season), with 16 of those boards coming on the offensive end.

Those 16 offensive rebounds turned into 23 second-chance points (against OKC’s six) as the Beam Team created its difference on the scoreboard thanks to a busy night attacking the glass.

Domantas Sabonis (13 rebounds) and Keegan Murray (11 rebounds) corralled rebounds with ease during the Kings’ past meeting with the Thunder, and you can expect that those two–along with Trey Lyles and Harrison Barnes–will use their physicality to get the upper-hand in that department on Thursday.

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Mind The Three

Oklahoma City will not hesitate to let it fly from beyond the arc.

The Thunder enter play on Thursday holding the NBA’s top three-point field goal shooting percentage (.391%) while ranking 12th in made triples.

Sacramento, who has done a poor job of defending the three this year (opponents shooting 38%, 25th in the NBA), will have no shortage of players to keep an eye on from three-point land.

Isaiah Joe (44%), Chet Holmgren (38%), Lu Dort (38%), and Jalen Williams (38%) are all shooting the ball at an efficient rate from beyond the arc on 2.8 attempts or more per game.

Oklahoma City is 12-2 this season when shooting 37 percent or better from three, meaning that the Kings will likely need to limit the damage from downtown if they want to come away with a win.

Notes

  • De’Aaron Fox is 20 assists away from tying Mike Bibby’s Sacramento era record of 2,580 assists
  • Keegan Murray is averaging 17 points per game on 51/37/87 shooting splits over the past four games
  • Kevin Huerter has struggled over the past week: (3 games) 3.3 PTS | 16% FG | 25% 3PT | 16.7 MIN
  • Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is has scored 70 points over his past two games vs. Sacramento (33 PTS & 37 PTS)

Kings vs. Thunder Injury Report

Sacramento

  • Trey Lyles – QUESTIONABLE (non-COVID illness)
  • Alex Len – OUT (high ankle sprain)

Oklahoma City

  • Keyontae Johnson – OUT (G-League)

Upcoming Schedule

  • Thursday, December 14th – Sacramento Kings vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, December 16th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7:00 PM PST
  • Monday, December 18th – Sacramento Kings vs. Washington Wizards – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, December 20th – Sacramento Kings vs. Boston Celtics – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, December 22nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns – 7:00 PM PST

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