Time: 7:00 PM CST
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Less than 20 hours after last night’s 148-147 double-overtime thriller over the Utah Jazz at Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Thunder are back in action — this time hosting the young, playoff-chasing Sacramento Kings. Led by the electric backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, the Kings have exceeded expectations this season; currently standing at 30-28 — just one game back in the loss column for the eighth seed in the West.
Tip-off is at 7:00 PM CST and will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. The Thunder are 5.5-point home favorites according to Odds Shark.
- Andre Roberson: Out — Knee
Kings: De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes, Willie Cauley-Stein
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What to Watch For
Keeping Pace: With last night’s game going into double-overtime, George (50), Adams (47), Westbrook (43) and Grant (41) all logged a crazy amount of minutes. One has to wonder whether the Thunder could be at risk of running out of gas tonight. The Kings, who currently stand at second in the league in Pace (103.7) are coming off an off-night, heading into the Oklahoma City with fresh legs. Here’s hoping the excitement from last night’s thriller at the ‘Peake will carry over. This one has all of the makings of a shootout.
Rolling Thunder: Dating back to before the All-Star Break, the Thunder have won twelve of their last fourteen contests, holding their ground as the 3rd seed in the West. If you didn’t know before his 45-point, 9-rebound, 7-assist, game-winning performance last night, you know now: Paul George is neck and neck with Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden in the MVP race. George will look to continue his tear tonight against the Kings, and with the toughest remaining schedule according to Tankathon.com, this is a win the Thunder would really like to walk away with — especially on the tail-end of a back-to-back. Russell Westbrook has scored 40+ in each of his last two games, and his relentless energy could be the key for a fatigued OKC team.
Markieff Morris: I’ll just say it – Kieff looked absolutely lost on the floor on a number of occasions against the Jazz last night. He finished with two assists and a steal in 17 minutes of action, shooting and missing just one attempt from the field. The good thing is, this slow start was was to be expected. After all, Morris hadn’t played in a game since December 28, and he didn’t officially join the Thunder until Wednesday. Tonight will be another opportunity for Morris to get in rhythm with this Thunder group; tuning up his defensive rotations and getting used to running in transition. He’ll likely draw rookie phenom Marvin Bagley III in his minutes off the bench, though, so he’ll need to bring his signature grit and toughness to match up with the 6-11 Bagley until he gets comfortable playing with this unit.
No Shump: The last two times the Thunder faced the Kings, they were armed with Iman Shumpert — and the guy seemingly couldn’t miss, totaling 49 points on 18-of-31 shooting in the two contests. Shumpert has since been dealt to the Rockets, carving out bigger roles for Hield and Bogdanovic, who have both excelled this season, while the Kings have also added several new wings like Harrison Barnes, Corey Brewer, and Alec Burks. This is a much different Kings team than the Thunder have seen earlier this year.