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Kings vs. Thunder Preview: One last chance to play the spoiler

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The race for the eighth spot in the Western Conference Playoffs is going right down to the wire with both the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder sitting at 42-36.  Both teams need as many wins as possible, and for Oklahoma City, this is a game they have marked as a must-win.  Can the Kings spoil their season? Tonight's game tips off at 5:00 pm Pacific on CSN California and KHTK Sports 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1.  As mentioned this is a must-win for the Thunder if they hope to get to the playoffs.  They're really banged up as well, without Kevin Durant or Serge Ibaka.  Russell Westbrook has had a monster season, even one worthy of MVP consideration.

2.  The Kings won't have DeMarcus Cousins and probably won't have Rudy Gay or Nik Stauskas either, both of whom are listed as questionable.  The Kings played shorthanded on Wednesday against Utah and were able to stay competitive for the most part before falling behind.  The Thunder are arguable more defensively challenged than Utah, but between Westbrook and Enes Kanter, they have some potent offensive weapons.

3.  Oklahoma City doesn't have much of an interior presence without Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison.  I would love to see the Kings attack the paint constantly, and I think this could be a good game for Carl Landry to get a lot of touches down low.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Russell Westbrook vs. Ray McCallum

This is a nightmare matchup for Ray, who struggles with big and fast point guards, and Westbrook just so happens to be one of the biggest and fastest point guards out there.  Westbrook can get hot but he's a streaky shooter, so if Sacramento can keep him on the perimeter shooting jumpers that'd be ideal.

PREGAME LIMERICK

I wish the Kings had a guy like Anthony Morrow,
who could make threes like there was no tomorrow.
But instead we have D-Will,
who sometimes does thrill,
but most of the time just adds to our sorrow.

PREDICTION

Kings 109, Thunder 104 after Rudy Gay decides to play and stick it to Kendrick Perkins, not even realizing that Perkins isn't even on the Thunder anymore.