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Kings vs. Thunder Preview: Another one for the road

The Kings are in Oklahoma City for the first of two matchups in a row against the Thunder.
By | 38 Comments | Feb 26, 2023

Friday night’s historic game against the Clippers felt like a culmination of this entire season, but we still have plenty of regular season basketball left.  The Kings are in Oklahoma City for the first of two matchups in a row with the Thunder and will be looking to carry forward their momentum.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: 4:00 PM PT
Where: Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

For Your Consideration

Much like the Kings, the Thunder have been far better than most pundits expected coming into this season. Much of that success has been because of first time All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander though, and the Thunder will be without his services today as he deals with an ankle injury.  SGA is one of the top scorers in the NBA, averaging 31 points a game. Oklahoma City’s next highest scorer is Josh Giddey at 16.1 points a game, so there are big shoes to fill offensively for the Thunder.

This young Thunder team should still not be underestimated, especially on their home floor. Head Coach Mark Daigneault has them playing solid defense (11th in the league) and they’ve also got several players who have really hurt the Kings before. Lu Dort is a menace on both ends, and Jalen Williams is likely going to be joining Keegan Murray on an All-Rookie team at the end of the season.  The aforementioned Giddey is leading the team in rebounds and assists, and Isaiah Joe may just be the best three point shooter in the entire league right now, averaging a scorching 45.1% from distance through 51 games.  In Sacramento’s only other matchup with the Thunder this season, Joe scored 21 points on 7-12 shooting from three.

Still, this is a game the Kings should definitely win.  Sacramento has both an experience advantage and a size advantage down low.  Domantas Sabonis is stronger than anyone the Thunder can throw at him and the Kings should look to take advantage of that fact whenever they can.

De’Aaron Fox also looks like a man possessed right now.  In his last six games, Fox has averaged 34.7 points on 57.9% from the field.  No player in the league has been more clutch in the 4th quarter of games this season, and right now we’re entering the proverbial 4th quarter of the regular season.  Look out, league.

Prediction

The Kings get off to an understandably slow start after still reeling from the aftershocks of Friday’s game against the Clippers, but somehow still managed to score over 130 points and win comfortably.

Kings 133, Thunder 117

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38 Comments
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RikSmits
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February 26, 2023 11:50 am

Must win game. Have to take advantage of a lesser team without its star player.
Can’t let that great, emotional victory against the Clippers get in the way.

In a while, it may be time to look up the standings instead of down, but now, every game counts.

RikSmits
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February 26, 2023 11:55 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I’m watching the Bucks-Suns game. Dutch ex-NBA player Francisco Elson (2003-2012, championship with the Spurs) said that he is convinced that the Kings will make noise in the play-offs, and watch out if they’ll have the home court advantage in the early rounds. “That place will be so loud, you’d need earplugs.

The play-by-play guy talked about the Greatest Show on Court and the Beam. That was fun.

Last edited 1 year ago by RikSmits
BuffaloDiaspora
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February 26, 2023 2:51 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Can confirm that G1C in that last home game against the Mavs was the absolute loudest place I have ever been. The playoffs are going to blow the roof off.

Jman1949
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February 26, 2023 11:55 am

It would be a colossal blunder
If we overlook the Thunder.
With no room to spare
Take both games in this pair,
Then gaze at the standings in wonder!

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
February 26, 2023 12:17 pm

I don’t see how this OKC team can win without SGA. That being said, the Kangz have appeared a few times this year to challenge such assumptions. Gotta stop the Thunder from Down Under in Josh Giddey to secure this win. Let’s rest the starters by the end of the 3rd!

comment image
*This is not Josh Giddey

Want2win
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February 26, 2023 1:15 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Do not Aileen see this

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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February 26, 2023 12:20 pm

Come on, Kings! Let’s get to 10 games over .500!!

Want2win
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February 26, 2023 1:17 pm
Reply to  Klam

I’m starting to think my preseason prediction of 41-43 wins might be in jeapordy

macdoogs
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February 26, 2023 1:49 pm
Reply to  Klam

We’ve come so far from that dreaded 4 games over .500 era of a few weeks ago

NorCalKingsFan
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February 26, 2023 3:23 pm
Reply to  macdoogs

I still remember laughing at the dude in LV crowing about the Kings getting 40 wins. I loved his optimism but I definitely didn’t think we would a .500 team in the West.

macdoogs
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February 26, 2023 6:15 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

I don’t think anybody could have really expected for us to be in the position we’re in this season even with the most purple of tinted glasses but here we are! Looking like 10 games over right about now

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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Nostradumbass 18
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February 26, 2023 12:47 pm

Alright, the Suns lost to the Bucks!

RPO
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RPO
February 26, 2023 12:54 pm
Reply to  Klam

Seems like everyone loses to the Bucks these days.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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February 26, 2023 1:15 pm
Reply to  RPO

What was with that foul call on JIngles with Booker at the corner 1 second remaining.
Didn’t make a difference- but still, bizarre call. I am noticing more and more the bizarre calls are left to be.

Kosta
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February 26, 2023 1:32 pm
Reply to  Klam

Too bad the L*kers are stinking it up in Dallas.

macdoogs
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February 26, 2023 1:50 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Standings be damned, I hope the Lakers lose every game no matter what

Kosta
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February 26, 2023 1:57 pm
Reply to  macdoogs

Fair. 🙂

murraytant
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February 26, 2023 3:36 pm
Reply to  macdoogs

I hate them as well but they can b our tools on occasion-

NorCalKingsFan
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February 26, 2023 3:40 pm
Reply to  murraytant

yeah, if they are going to win a game every once in a while, might as well be against Dal or LAC

Kingsguru21
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February 26, 2023 2:01 pm
Reply to  Kosta

That’s cuz the Lakers stink Gonzo…..

Kingsguru21
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February 26, 2023 2:04 pm
Reply to  Kosta

At the rate the Lakers and Pelicans are going, they might be in competition for a top 4 draft pick more than they are the playin game. Hoo buddy…..

NorCalKingsFan
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February 26, 2023 3:30 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I used to really like B. Ingram (and I still recognize his skills) but after watching the Pels a lot more this year it looks to me that Ingram has ZERO competitive edge to him, no dog in him at all, no desire to the best. I’m not sure if he’s dealt with a nagging injury or something all year long, but damn that guy could be so much better than he is.

Kingsguru21
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February 26, 2023 3:51 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

I think he’s been carrying injuries, and it’s possible that he just cant hold up over the course of a season. He or Zion.

Just might be one of those things. But yeah, the Pels after that start have been horrible without Zion. Lots of Kings fans have that one game on their minds (because that’s likely the one Pels game they’ve seen) but this Pels team is dangerous…..theoretically. So are the Suns, and they’ve lost to the Clippers and Bucks recently.

Kings fans need to stop looking at the front of the jersey and assuming the worst.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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February 26, 2023 2:06 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I’m ok with the Lakers stinking it up all of the time.

Kingsguru21
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February 26, 2023 2:11 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Are you okay with the Pelicans getting a top 3 pick this year?

murraytant
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February 26, 2023 3:39 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

NO

there is a balance here. I have to balance my emotion (hate) vs. practical long-term outcomes. I am playing the long game- and hope the LAL help us secure the 3 or 4 slot, miss the play in and the Pedl get a #14 at best.
My hate for the LAL can include a long game component.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 26, 2023 3:45 pm
Reply to  murraytant

My hate for the LAL can include a long game component.

I am completely on board with crowd-funding a sports science or similar degree for one of our TKH commenter’s kids so that they can slowly work themselves through the ranks of LAL staff only to purposely blow it all up from the inside 15yrs from now. The long con.

BuffaloDiaspora
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February 26, 2023 2:19 pm
Reply to  Kosta

They just turned it into a game. I feel dirty but hanging a loss on fatty and flatty is more important than FTL today.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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February 26, 2023 3:25 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Dallas lost after all!
comment image

murraytant
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February 26, 2023 3:35 pm
Reply to  Kosta

hold on —LAL come from 27 back to win!!

Loss column- Kings 25, LAC/Suns 29 and Mavs 30. Some space.

macdoogs
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February 26, 2023 1:56 pm

For the first time in a long time I haven’t been paying a ton of attention to the draft. On paper, I like that kid from ucf Taylor hendricks. Seems like(on paper) the perfect front court mate for domas. Not a strong rebounder but really good on D and can hit the 3.

Also not sure if he will fall to the 2nd but if he does we should take a flyer on Emoni Bates. I’d love to see what a strong team around him along with coach brown and jordi. Kid has alot of untapped potential as a scorer

Kosta
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February 26, 2023 1:57 pm

Tune in to the G-Man tonight for his 3,000th game called!

https://twitter.com/EmmySFTV/status/1629921444636553216?s=20

Kingsguru21
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February 26, 2023 2:18 pm

Jacque Vaughn is a seriously smart coach. He had a use it or lose it TO and took it 8 seconds before he would lose the TO.

Kingsguru21
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February 26, 2023 2:29 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

This Nets Hawks game has been something else…..127 up. 7 secs to go.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kingsguru21
Kingsguru21
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February 26, 2023 2:31 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Trae Young hits a buzzer beater. Hawks win 129-127.

murraytant
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February 26, 2023 3:41 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

and he probably left the court, insulting his teammates and coaches

Kingsguru21
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February 26, 2023 3:42 pm
Reply to  murraytant

I think they going to have problems unless Trae grows up. And in that environment in Atl, he might not.

Want2win
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February 26, 2023 3:58 pm

This game is already a victory because Kyle Draper is calling it not Mark “ I spew too many cliche stupid sayings” Jones

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