The Thunder narrowly escaped with a 99-97 victory over the Kings last Saturday. The Thunder survived a 12-2 Kings run over the final three minutes of regulation when Tyreke was unable to hit an open 3 and an Omri missed a put back off of Tyreke’s miss that would have sent the game into overtime. OKC is just 2-3 this season when they are outrebounded by 10 or more. The Kings outrebounded them 49-36 and outscored them in the paint 56-44. The Kings were the only team able to hold the Thunder to under 100 points in their last 8 games.
Oklahoma City fell to the Warriors the following night despite shooting better than 52.5% from the field. The Thunder had been 14-1 this season when shooting better than 50.0% from the field. The Warriors outrebounded the Thunder 20-2 on the offensive boards and 47-33 overall. It was the first time this season OKC has been outrebounded by 10 or more in consecutive games.
The Kings now take their 3 game road winning streak back to Oklahoma City, where the Thunder are 18-8. The last time they Kings beat the Thunder on the road was February 1, 2009 when the Kings won in OT 122-118.
With DeMarcus back in the fold, the Kings look to extend Oklahoma’s streak of being out rebounded by 10 or more to three games. Of course, Rebounding isn’t all that will be needed for the Kings to win another road game. The Kings will need to shoot better from three point range than the 1-12 we shot in our last game against the Thunder. Garcia was practicing before the Suns game and his return would be most welcome. In the event that doesn’t happen, Omri needs to step up his game. Omri is 5-22 (22.7%) from three over the last 5 games, and for the six games we’ve played in February he’s shooting 22-62 (35.5%) from the field and 7-26 (26.9%) from three and only 60% from the FT line.
The other main concern is Turnovers. Tyreke has had 6 turnovers in 3 of the last 4 games, and 15 in total. Not that the rest of the team was much better. The Kings have had 63 turnovers in the last 4 games, and the Dallas game was very good with only 10 turnovers. That averages out to 18 per game if you eliminate the Dallas game. The Kings need more passing from Tyreke, Beno and Cousins, and less dribbling thru double teams. Let’s see more passes to cutters moving to the basket including Tyreke who lately has been very effective when moving without the ball.
That’s the short version for the short week between games. The long version is still up in the Recommended Fanposts section for those that haven’t seen it before. It includes my Follow-up report on the last game in the comments section. Four in a row, Go Kings!