Thunder’s Hot Start Sinks Kings

Difficulties in the first half leave the team with too big of a hole, falling 110-94 in Oklahoma City.
by Benedict Tagle

In a matinee affair between the Sacramento Kings and Oklahoma City Thunder, the home team jumped out to a hot start, leaving the Kings scrambling from the tip. After the Kings held a brief lead in the first quarter, the Thunder regained an advantage soon afterwards that they wouldn’t relinquish.

Oklahoma City was red hot from the field in the first half, shooting 54.8 percent from the field, as well as a blistering 60 percent from long distance. This was aided by their second chance opportunities, with the Thunder having more than double the offensive rebounds than Sacramento.

To compound their struggles, the Kings were victims of cold shooting. They shot 35 percent from the field and only 27.3 percent from downtown. At the break, Sacramento trailed Oklahoma City 61-43.

The second half began in the same way. The Thunder were seemingly unable to miss from all over the court, extending their lead to as much as 27. From that point on, the Kings managed to find a groove.

Sacramento’s shooting percentage was better by double-digits, leaping up to 45.7 in the second half. The Kings cut the deficit to less than 20, but the lead the Thunder had built proved to be too large to overcome.

  • Georgios Papagiannis recorded career-highs in both points and rebounds. With 14 points and 11 rebounds, he also recorded his first career double-double. He led the Kings in both categories. The best game of his career, he shot 60 percent from the field and was perfect from the charity stripe. He also contributed on the defensive end, with one block and one steal.
  • Skal Labissiere, limited to just five minutes in the first half after recording three quick fouls, recorded 11 of his 13 points in the second half. He continues a pattern of solid play. On his birthday, he recorded his third consecutive game with double-digits in scoring, the first such streak in his career.
  • Rookie Buddy Hield scored in double-digits again as a member of the Kings. He has achieved the feat in 10 of 12 games.

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