Kings vs. Thunder Preview: Trying not to lose by 30

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings could be without Isaiah Thomas again as they face one of the best teams in the NBA.

The Kings are on the road again, this time to face the Oklahoma City Thunder (5:00 pm on News10 and KHTK 1140) for the start of a very tough back-to-back.  The Kings are coming off a tough loss to the Knicks, but the Thunder want to get back on track even more after falling to the Mavericks in Overtime a few days ago.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Rudy Gay vs. Kevin Durant

Rudy didn't have the best game matched up against Carmelo Anthony on Wednesday, and he faces an even tougher test tonight against Durant.  Durant is going to get his, and Rudy is unlikely to stop him there.  Hopefully though, Rudy can get going himself and make Durant work hard on that end so he doesn't have as much energy to expend offensively.

3 THINGS

1. Thomas is again questionable for tonight's game, which means we'll see a lot more Ray McCallum and Rudy Gay, Point Forward if he doesn't play.  Russell Westbrook is a much better player than Raymond Felton, so Ray's in for another tough night should he start.  Hopefully he can find his rhythm offensively a little bit sooner.  If Thomas does play, the Kings will still be in a tough spot in trying to win, but Thomas has had some incredible games against the Thunder in the past, particularly in bringing the Kings back from 20+ point deficits.

2. One area where the Kings should hopefully dominate Oklahoma City is at the Center position.  The Thunder are without Kendrick Perkins and Hasheem Thabeet, meaning Cousins will go up against rookie Steven Adams and veteran Nick Collison, perhaps with some Serge Ibaka thrown in.  Cousins has been playing great basketball lately, and the Kings will need a sterling performance from him to have a chance.

3. Ben McLemore has been having the best month of his career.  He's noticeably slowing down and taking more things in rhythm, while also trying to be aggressive.  I want to see if he can keep it up the rest of the season, which would be a good sign for his future.  Fortunately for him, he won't have to go up against Thabo Sefolosha tonight, but the Thunder are still a phenomenal defensive team.

PRE-GAME HAIKU

That Kevin Durant,
shoo-in for the MVP.
He's incredible.

PREDICTION

Kings 72, Thunder 105 because if we go down to the Knicks by 24 without Isaiah, we're probably going to do a lot worse against the Thunder.

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