NBA Basketball
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108
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Sacramento 27 34 21 26 108
Oklahoma City 25 25 31 31 112
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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT0:00 , February 27, 2020
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  Attendance: 18,203

Thunder, Kings to put solid runs to the test

According to STATS
According to STATS

Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. These teams have split the first two meetings of the season in Sacramento, with the Thunder winning the last one, 120-100, on January 29. The Kings have won the last two matchups at Oklahoma City after going 1-17 in their first 18 games there.
  2. The Thunder defeated the Bulls, 124-122, on Tuesday for a fourth win in a row and are a Western Conference-best 13-3 since January 18. OKC is also shooting a league-leading 49.4 percent since January 18, shooting 50.0 percent or better eight times. The Thunder had 11 such games in their first 42 contests.
  3. The Thunder, who were down two points to the Bulls after the third quarter, are an NBA-best 14-18 (.438) when trailing after three quarters. OKC's 14 wins when trailing after three quarters are the most by any team since Portland also had 14 in 2014-15, and are tied for the most by the franchise in a single season, matching the 1991-92 Seattle SuperSonics.
  4. Danilo Gallinari had a team-high 24 points Tuesday, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder each scored 21 points. It was the 14th time this season OKC had three players score 20+ points in the same game, tied with the Blazers for second in the NBA behind the Clippers' 16 such games.
  5. The Kings beat the Warriors, 112-94, on Tuesday to match a season-best three-game winning streak. They had 57 second-half points and are seventh in the NBA in second-half scoring since January 1 at 57.3 ppg. They had the league's sixth-lowest second-half scoring through New Year's Eve at 51.8 ppg.
  6. Buddy Hield made five three-pointers Tuesday, his eighth game with five or more made threes in his last 15 contests. He had one such game in his previous 17 contests. His 66 three-pointers in his last 15 games are one shy of the most by a King over a single-season 15-game stretch that he set last season.
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to bolster their position in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.

The Sacramento Kings have been doing their best to get back into the playoff mix.

On Thursday night, the two meet in Oklahoma City trying to continue their upward trajectories.

The Thunder have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA over the last month-plus, winning 13 of their last 16 games. Oklahoma City comes into Thursday's game having won four consecutive, including all three after the All-Star break.

Sacramento comes in on a hot streak of its own, having won three consecutive games and six of its last eight.

The Kings have started their four-game road trip - in a span where they'll play six of seven away from Sacramento - with back-to-back wins.

Oklahoma City hasn't made it easy on themselves but keeps figuring out ways to win, including in Tuesday night's victory in Chicago. The Thunder led that game by as many as 24 points, but that lead was wiped out by the time the fourth quarter started. Oklahoma City had to fight back to hold off the Bulls 124-122.

Thunder coach Billy Donovan said his team is at a point where he's making minor tweaks rather than overhauls to try to pull out their best.

"I think what we've got to do is we've got to make small, incremental changes toward getting better," Donovan said.

One of those changes could be the re-emergence of guard Terrance Ferguson.

In the first seven games after he returned from an eight-game absence due to personal reasons, Ferguson had scored just four points combined, making 1 of 10 from the field before Tuesday.

Against the Bulls, he had 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting.

"I think it took him awhile to get back into the flow," Donovan said. "His timing was off. I think he was fouling a little too much. I think his shot really wasn't there.

"Terrance has always been a really, really good catch-and-shoot player, especially from the corners. ... Hopefully he'll be able to consistently keep getting better."

That would add depth with the continued emergence of rookie Luguentz Dort, who remains on a two-way contract but who has become a fixture in the starting lineup since Ferguson was out.

Sacramento's success recently has been at least in part to its quickened tempo. After the Kings were near the top of the league in pace a year ago, they had slowed considerably under Luke Walton this season dropping to No. 24.

But over their last five games, Sacramento was tied for seventh in the league in pace, heading into play Wednesday.

"With these final 28 games coming out of the break, pushing the pace was one of those things that we want to make sure, no matter how the season ends, we go into the offseason with that in mind," Walton said. "We're continuing to stress our transition defense and some other key points as well."

Sacramento point guard De'Aaron Fox scored 21 points in Tuesday's 112-94 road win over the Golden State Warriors for his third straight 20-point effort.

Fox temporarily left the contest with groin tightness before returning, and he is continuing to deal with a sore left shoulder.

"It's motivating," veteran swingman Kent Bazemore said of Fox playing through the ailments. "You can see him wincing out there, but he's pushing through. It means a lot that he's bought in. We have his back and he is still demanding a lot of attention, and dominating the game."

Thursday's game is the final one between the teams this season. The Kings and Thunder have split their first two games, with both of those meetings coming in Sacramento.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 27, 2020

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