NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, January 19th (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (14-24) at Oklahoma City Thunder (30-10), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder have won two straight and will try to make it three in a row Sunday night when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder bested the Houston Rockets on the road Thursday, holding the high- powered Rockets to 19 points in the second half.
One night later, OKC outran the Golden State Warriors 127-121.
Kevin Durant had a career-high 54 points and made 10 of his first 11 shots for 29 first-half points. The NBA's leading scorer finished 19-of-28 from the field and 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.
His 54-point effort came nearly a year after he netted his previous career- high of 52 points against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 18.
"Some nights, I've got to put it up, I've got to score. Some nights, I've got to do other things. Tonight, they found me and I was able to hit a few shots," Durant said.
Serge Ibaka recorded 21 points and eight rebounds, while Reggie Jackson added 14 points and six assists for the Thunder, who have won three of their last four games.
Oklahoma City just defeated two playoff teams and its next two are against the very best of the Western Conference. The Thunder host the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, then visit the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
The Kings will play game four of a six-game road trip, where they are 1-2 thus far. They fell to the Indiana Pacers, beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, then lost a 91-90 heartbreaker to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 22 points and pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds, and Rudy Gay, who spent 6 1/2 seasons in Memphis before he was traded to Toronto last season, added 19 for the Kings, who have dropped two of their last three.
"It was definitely a type of game Memphis wanted to play. I feel like we had good tempo in the beginning, but they got their tempo in the second half," Cousins said. "They controlled the game down the stretch, that is where it hurt us."
Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas' halfcourt alley-oop to Derrick Williams put Sacramento in front 86-79, but Memphis used a 12-2 run to take an 91-88 edge with 54 seconds left.
Thomas finished with 14 points, followed by 10 apiece from Jason Thompson and Williams.
The Kings have to visit New Orleans and Houston on this trip.
The Thunder have won seven straight against Sacramento, including one this season. OKC is 16-2 in its last 18 in the series and the Kings have never won in nine trips to Oklahoma City.
01/19 10:29:47 ET