SACRAMENTO -- After a stunning finish Sunday which saw Sacramento narrowly escape overtime against the Toronto Raptors, the Kings draw one of the toughest covers in the game. Stat stuffing Russell Westbrook and crew drop by Golden 1 Center on the eve of Thanksgiving, looking to snap a two-game skid.
Sacramento is 1-2 on its current five-game homestand and looking to climb one notch closer to .500. In their dramatic win over the Raptors on Sunday, the Kings held high-scoring guard DeMar DeRozan to just 12 points on 3-of-15 shooting. If they can find a way to slow Westbrook, they have a chance to make it two in a row.
OKC is coming off a tough 111-109 loss on Tuesday to the Lakers. Westbrook poured in 34 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds, but he also turned the ball over eight times.
Prior to Wednesday night’s contest, the Kings recalled all three of their rookie first rounders from Reno. Malachi Richardson is fourth in the D-league in scoring, posting 24.4 points per game on 44 percent shooting from long range. Georgios Papagiannis has already been up with the Kings once. He’s averaging a modest 10.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks with the Bighorns. Skal Labissiere is fresh off a breakout 21 point performance, but has struggled in Reno, averaging 10 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks while shooting 37.9 percent from the field.
Kings by 2.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
The Kitchen Sink vs. Russell Westbrook -- Westbrook is a triple-double waiting to happen. The high-flying All-Star is averaging 31.8 points, 10.6 assists and 9.6 rebounds on the season, but his numbers have equated to just a 8-7 record for the Thunder. Dave Joerger has plenty of different looks to throw at Westbrook, including Ty Lawson, Darren Collison, Garrett Temple and even Ben McLemore. If they can keep Westbrook off the line and force him into bad shots, the Kings have a decent chance of winning their second straight game.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 5-9, fourth place in Pacific
Thunder: 8-7, first place in Northwest
Kings: No injuries to report.
Thunder: G Cameron Payne (foot) out.
These two teams split the season series 2-2 last year after the Kings shocked OKC 114-112 in late April. The Thunder hold a 140-84 all-time lead over the Kings and an 83-48 advantage in the Sacramento-era.
“I think it’s big for the game. To be able to have players like that, to dominate the game at a high level. Russ and James are going to have the ball in their hands the majority of the game, 90-95 percent of the time, so you have to pick and choose whether you want them to pass or score that night. It depends on what the game plan is, but you can’t give them both and they do a good job of exploiting both options.” -Darren Collison on Russell Westbrook and James Harden, who the Kings play on Wednesday and Friday at Golden 1 Center