Kings vs. Thunder preview: Power test

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento gets another chance to knock off a better team on the road.

The Kings face the Oklahoma City Thunder (4 p.m. Pacific) on Sunday afternoon. Locally, the game is likely to be overshadowed by the NFC Championship Game, which begins at 3:30 p.m. Pacific. But basketball is the world's most beautiful game, and basketball we shall discuss. (In case you didn't know, Niners Nation is the best spot to chat Niners.)

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Rudy Gay vs. Kevin Durant

Durant dropped 54 points on Friday. He easily could have gotten 60. And that was against a darned good Warriors defense. So, yeah.

Rudy Gay has his work cut out for him. But no one man can guard Durant: it's a team effort, and if the dude is cookin', even a full team effort can't stop him. Meanwhile, the Kings could use a productive night from Gay to reverse some of the damage.

3 THINGS

1. Serge Ibaka is a legitimately great mid-range shooter. Jason Thompson will have to work hard to close out on him and recover to help rebound. (Man, Ibaka would be perfect for the Kings.) Serge is the type of guy who could go 10-15 from the floor without breaking a sweat.

2. Reggie Jackson is really quick, but isn't totally reliable quite yet. I imagine the Kings' gameplan will be to try to force Jackson into mistakes early so he's not too confident attacking Isaiah Thomas late.

3. Would anyone blink if Durant dropped 60? 70?

PRE-GAME HAIKU

I am not ready
for some football. I am read-
y for basketball.

PREDICTION

Niners 20, Seahawks 17. Durant scores 45. Close game until the fourth.

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