What the Thunder needed in the worst way finally arrived Friday night. A slump-buster. And for the Thunder, there is no better slump buster than the Sacramento Kings. Oklahoma City continued its mastery of the Kings inside Chesapeake Energy Arena with a potentially postseason-saving 116-103 victory that snapped a four-game skid and marked only the second win for the Thunder in eight games. Sacramento still has yet to win in Oklahoma City. Friday was the Kings’ 13th straight loss to the Thunder inside The Peake. With New Orleans also winning at home against Phoenix on Friday night, OKC needed to handle business against the Kings to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race. The two teams have identical records, but the Pelicans own the head-to-head tiebreaker, meaning the Thunder must lose one less game than New Orleans over the final three contests. The teams are both back in action Sunday, the Thunder playing at Indiana and the Pelicans playing at Houston. “It was a good win for us,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “Coming into this game, we hadn’t had a win in the month of April so it was nice to come out and get a win.” Even against a slumping Thunder squad Sacramento figured to have no shot at snapping its seven-year futility in OKC. The Kings came into the game without All-Star center and leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins, explosive wing Rudy Gay and starting point guard Darren Collison. That trio makes up Sacramento’s three leading scorers and accounts for 61.3 points per game. Without them the Kings simply could not keep up, especially not on a night in which the Thunder played some of its best offensive basketball of the season and rode a balanced attack to a pretty easy victory. Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 27 points with five rebounds and 10 assists to pace the Thunder, Enes Kanter had 25 points and Dion Waiters scored 22 with six rebounds and four assists and three steals. Anthony Morrow finished one point shy of giving the Thunder a fourth 20-point scorer. He had 19 points with six rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench. The performance brought closure to the last outing, a night the Thunder wanted to forget after it lost by 25 at home to San Antonio on Tuesday.
Thunder snaps four-game skid, beats Kings
The Oklahoman | Apr 11