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Preview: Thunder vs. Kings

Sacramento Kings (13-20) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (24-10)

8:00 p.m. ET Sunday, January 4, 2015 – Chesapeake Energy Arena

STARTING LINEUP: OKC STARTING LINEUP: MIA
Russell Westbrook G Rajon Rondo G
Andre Roberson G Ben McLemore G
Anthony Morrow F Rudy Gay F
Serge Ibaka F Omri Casspi F
Steven Adams C DeMarcus Cousins C

Key Reserves

OKC Thunder: Enes Kanter, Dion Waiters, D.J. Augustin, Nick Collison, Kyle Singler

Sacramento Kings: Darren Collison, Marco Belinelli, Kosta Koufos, Willie Cauley-Stein

 

OKC Stats Leaders:                     Sacramento Stats Leaders:

Points Per Game:                            Points Per Game:

Kevin Durant (26.6)                       DeMarcus Cousins (24.4)

 

Rebounds Per Game:                      Rebounds Per Game

Enes Kanter (7.9)                           DeMarcus Cousins (10.3)

 

Assists Per Game:                           Assists Per Game:

Russell Westbrook (9.3)                Rajon Rondo (11.3)

 

Steals Per Game:                             Steals Per Game:

Russell Westbrook (2.5)                Rajon Rondo (1.8)

 

Blocks Per Game:                           Blocks Per Game:

Serge Ibaka (2.4)                            DeMarcus Cousins (1.4)

 

Thunder-Kings Preview
The Thunder will try to keep their momentum going throughout the new year at home against the Sacramento Kings, however, they will be without the former MVP, Kevin Durant.

Durant sprained his right big toe in the second quarter of the Thunder’s 109-90 win at Charlotte on Saturday, but still managed to score 29 points, grab 11 rebounds and block four shots.  He’s listed as day to day and sounds like he’ll miss a few more games as he missed four games last season with the same injury.

With Durant, the Thunder are 21-7 and outscore opponents by 15.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.  Without, they’re 3-3 and are just a +0.2 per 100 in the games he missed.

The Thunder (24-10) have won 15 straight against the Kings in Oklahoma City but without Durant they could be in for a challenge as the Kings are coming off its highest scoring effort in 23 years.

The Kings shot a season-high 60.9 percent Saturday, while ending a three-game skid with a 142-119 home win against the Phoenix Suns.  DeMarcus Cousins led the way with 32 points and nine rebounds, while Darren Collison scored 21 points and Marco Belinelli added 19 points.

Despite the season-high scoring effort against the Suns it has been a different story when they travel to Oklahoma City, where they have lost by an average of 12.3 points during the Thunder’s longest home winning streak versus an opponent since moving from the Pacific Northwest ahead of the 2008-09 season.  It’s also tied for the NBA’s fifth-longest active streak.

However, the Kings (13-20) did threaten to end the streak on December 6.  The Kings rallied from a 17-point deficit and went ahead by seven before Durant scored six in the final 1:18 to lead the Thunder to a 98-95 victory.

Without Durant it’s Russell Westbrooks world.  Westbrook averages 32.7 points, 9.3 assists and 7.7 rebounds when Durant hasn’t played this season.

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