I missed on my free NBA pick last Friday. Tonight I’m taking a look at the Oklahoma City Thunder-Sacramento Kings match-up.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have won 6 in a row and 8 of their last 9 games. 8 of their 11 wins this season have been a margin of 10 or more points. They have scored 111 or more points in 3 of their last 4 games. They have held their last 3 and 5 of their last 6 opponents under 100 points. They are 4-8 on the road this season. They have won their last 3 road games. They are 2-2 versus Pacific division opponents. They are 23rd in the league in points per game with 95.4, 3rd in the league in rebounds per game with 45.7 per game, 26th in the league with assists per game with 19.6 per game, and 1st in the league in points allowed with 94 per game. Guard Russell Westbrook has led the team in scoring in their last 4 games. Tonight is the 1st game of a 3 game road trip. All 3 games are at Pacific division opponents. After tonight their next game is at Golden State on Thursday. The Sacramento Kings have dropped 3 in a row and 8 of their last 10 games. As a result the organization fired their head coach Mike Malone yesterday. Assistant coach Tyrone Corbin will take over the reigns of head coach on an interim basis. They have lost by 5 or less points in their last 3 games. They are 6-7 at home this season. They have dropped their last 2 home games. They are 5-1 versus Northwest division opponents. They are 16th in the league in scoring with 101 points per game, 5th in the league in rebounds per game with 45.3 per game, 29th in the league in assists per game with 19.5 per game, and 20th in the league in points allowed with 101.3 per game. Tonight is 3rd game of a 5 game home stand. They have scored 100 or more points in 4 of their last 6 home games. After tonight their next game is at home versus the Bucks on Thursday.
In their first meeting this season Oklahoma City was victorious 101-93 at home versus Sacramento on November 9th. After tonight the 2 teams play two more times this season, January 7th at Sacramento and April 10th at Oklahoma City. The Thunder have won their last 11 meetings with the Kings.
Thunder vs Kings Prediction
The Kings’ firing of their head coach and the continued absence of star center DeMarcus Cousins (out with viral meningitis) will have the team in a somber mood and I don’t think they’ll be able to pick themselves up in time to compete against a surging Thunder squad. The Thunder are a completely different team since the return of injured stars Westbrook and Kevin Durant than the one that started 3-12.
Take the Thunder -7