OKC HANDS DEFEAT TO REELING KINGS
By: Takudzwa Makoni
In the first game for the hemorrhaging Sacramento Kings organisation since coach Mike Malone was relieved of his duties, the scheduling gods in their fickleness, sent the reigning MVP Kevin Durant and the surging Oklahoma City Thunder into their building on Tuesday night.
Russell Westbrook scored twenty three points and dished seven dimes. Mr. MVP, Kevin Durant, showing no signs of his recent surgery, dropped twenty six on the Kings. The Kings, still without star centre DeMarcus Cousins, and with interim coach Tyrone Lue still figuring things out, drop to 2 and eight with the loss.
To be fair, the game was closer than the 104-92 scoreline suggests, as the Kings, behind small forward Rudy Gay who just signed an extension, never gave up. Trailing by as much as sixteen in the first quarter, the Kings hung around for the inevitable lull good teams will face when playing bad teams, actually taking the lead in the fourth quarter until OKC put the hammer down and pulled away for the win. Since reigning MVP Kevin Durant’s return from a broken foot, the Thunder have won 7 of their last 8 games.
Rudy Gay scored a hard-fought 22 points and Carl Landry continued his good start to the season with 14 points for the embattled Sacramento Kings. The shorthanded Kings however, were never going to win this game- dealing with a massively disappointing start to the season for a new ownership group and what was billed as a playoff-worthy roster, and the jettisoning of what by all accounts was a popular coach, the Kings were always going to have a long night against a Thunder team that need to make up ground on the games they lost during Westbrook and Durant’s absence. Games like this, they simply cannot afford to lose.