The Sacramento Kings showed what they can do when they’re at their best, as they took on the Thunder in Oklahoma on Monday night and came away with an impressive 116-104 win on the road.
DeMarcus Cousins stole the plaudits and showed the league why he deserves to be at the all-star game in Toronto in february. The big man finished with 33 points, and an equally impressive 19 rebounds on the night. Although his shooting from the field was weak, his points were boosted from the free throw line, shooting 9 of 10 in the game.
Rajon Rondo also put on a show in OKC, and it seems he’s back to his very best. The flamboyant point guard finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds and a jaw-dropping 19 assists! No wonder his teammates find it so easy to score. He was just one rebound away from a triple-double. He also had 5 steals!
Rudy Gay also came up big in this one; he had 16 points. Contribution from the bench got them over the line, with Marco Belinelli scoring 21 points off the bench, and Darren Collison adding 14 points.
Willie Cauley-Stein continued his return from his recent injury stint with 8 points and 3 rebounds from 15 minutes of action.
The Thunder played well, but without superstar Kevin Durant, they came up short. Russel Westbrook filled the stat sheet with 17 points, 15 assists and 8 rebounds, 2 short of a triple-double. Unfortunately for Westbrook, 7 turnovers for him on the night emphasized a disappointing home defeat for OKC.
Serge Ibaka led the scoring for the Thunder with 25 points, Anthony Morrow had 20 in the ball game, Steven Adams had 15 and Cameron Payne added 11 off the bench.
This game questions the strength of the Thunder without Kevin Durant, and may well be an insight into the future of the team if Durant decided not to re-sign in the summer and test free agency. Despite the loss, OKC have a strong record so far this season which sits them 3rd in the west. They are 24-11 at this stage.
The strong showing from Sacramento shows just what they are capable of when they play well. They have had a disappointing start to the season, but the win makes it a little easier on the eye. They are 14-20 so far, which places them 9th in the west. But with a good run of form and some consistency over the second half of the season, they could well end up in the post-season.
Final score: Sacramento 116-104 Oklahoma