Thunder/Kings Live Blog
Let's get you up to speed on all the Thunder injury news. First, Darius Bazley is still doing some stationary shooting per Billy Donovan. Bazley is progressing, but the Thunder has no plans to speed up his return to the court.
Bazley is still recovering from a right knee bone bruise. Donovan says the medical team will "say right on the plan."..." Even if he felt like he could do more, they're not going to rush him."..." Everything they've put him though he's responded really, really well to."
We found out earlier this week that Andre Roberson is back in Oklahoma City. Roberson has been working out, but he is not practicing with the team. Donovan has thought about how Roberson would fit in with the current Thunder rotation but, he's not planning for that. Donovan says Roberson is not in excellent game shape, but he has been conditioning.
The primary concern for Roberson is the fact that he hasn't had any basketball contact in two years. "He hasn't had to go over screens; he hasn't had to go in a block out, he hasn't had to drive the ball against contact." Donovan won't take away the hope that Roberson has to get back to playing. But, it is late in the season, and Donovan will have to decide if Roberson can help the team.
The Thunder goes for a series sweep of the Sacramento Kings tonight at the Peake. Oklahoma City needed Chris Paul's defensive prowess to keep the Bulls from overcoming a 24 point deficit on Tuesday to secure a 124-122 victory.
The Kings are winners of three consecutive games. Sacramento had three bench players score in double digits with Kent Bazemore leading the way with 24 points in 31 minutes during a 112-94 smacking of Golden State.
Tonight is the only trip the Kings will make to the Peak, which is a good thing considering Sacramento is 2-0 in their last two flights to Oklahoma City.
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First Quarter: So far, we have Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari show, both players have six points. Thunder up 14-12, what I find funny is before the game Donovan was asked about Gallinari not shooting as well the last few games. It wasn't a wrong question, But I don't know how you could watch him all season long and not think that any slump he may be in wouldn't be temporary.
The Thunder are one foul away from putting the Kings in the bonus with 7:09 left in the first quarter.
Nerlens Noel comes in for Adams and gives Oklahoma City a two-point lead. Thunder takes a timeout.
While we are at a timeout, let's be honest about Andre Roberson. He's not coming back. Billy Donovan pretty much told us that tonight, as I have said all season long, the Thunder are too classy to kick him to the curb. Donovan is a master in the art of not being blunt. There have been occasions where he has broken that rule, mainly when talking about Alex Abrines's lack of defense that was keeping him on the bench.
But, Donovan would never call a guy out for injury.
Not saying no other coach would work for Sam Presti, but Donovan knows how not to rock the boat. It's hard to see any coach with even limited skins on the wall being the same way. The Thunder will never send a message to their players in the media.
Noel with a tip-in. Thunder lead 18-17. Kings are in the Bonus after Shai Gilgeous-Alexander picks up his second foul.
Lou Dort is officially Thunder fans' favorite all-time player right now. He just hit a three, and Loud City erupted.
Buddy Hield is in for the Kings, Nader in for Oklahoma City.
Schroder on Heild to start. Dennis has a hard time keeping up with Buddy. I want to believe (like Darth Vader is real) that in the locker room before the game, Donovan asks, "Who wants Buddy?" And Schroder appears up from the back and says, "Me, coach!, I want Buddy."
Ferguson comes in and takes Hield. The Thunder are shooting 57.9 percent from the floor and 3 of 7 from three. Adams and Gallinari have six each.
The Thunder are getting a little sloppy down the stretch, a shot clock violation, and turnover in the last couple of possessions.
Kings lead 27-25 as we go into the second quarter.
Schroder cuts the Kings lead to 30-28 with a three. Some in the decision by Adams cost the Thunder a chance to tie on that last possession. Had he just gone back up, you could have at least had another 14 seconds on the shot clock if you grabbed the rebound.
Thunder is not right tonight. Two shot clock violations, a couple of turnovers, and just some overall sloppy handling of the ball. Gross when you watch.
Kings run now 13-5.
Nader with a much needed three! 38-31 Kings as the Thunder still try and figure things out. Adams heading the bench, Noel is coming in.
Nader is showing some hustle and scoring the last two baskets for Oklahoma City.
It's only 20-14 Kings on points in the paint but, it feels a heck of a lot worse.
Make that 22-14 Kings on points in the paint. Sacramento is getting to the rim with ease, and they are finishing. Gallinari gets a two at the rim with an and-one. Thunder only down four. 47-43.
Maybe the Adams slam will get the Thunder going.
61-50 Kings at the half. Oklahoma City 45.7 percent from the field, Gallinari with 12 points Adams with 11.
Kings on a 6-2 run to start the third quarter. 67-52 Sacramento. Adams to Gallinari my be my favorite alley-oop combination the Thunder have. If this game gets out of hand, then let Adams run the point center just for the heck of it.
Harrison Barnes nails a corner three, and the Thunder are down 72-57. Thunder has an empty possession and that followed by Bjellca three, making it 75-52 Sacramento.
Oklahoma City has trailed by as many as 18 tonight. The crowd is out of the game, Paul's midrange two brings the Peake crowd to life, sort of. The Kings take a timeout.
Alex Len has seven points on 3 of 6 shooting. Ok, shooting might be a little sharp of a word to use, every one of those is coming at the rim, and the Thunder can't seem to stop him.
Bazemore and Diallo hit with technical fouls. After this game got chippy and Chris Paul got tagged for a bad foul, the Thunder are coming to life.
Thunder cut the lead to single digits, no Ferguson this half, Thunder paying better defense at the rim.
Tide is starting to turn, Oklahoma City down four 80-76 after a Schroder two, the crowd is back in the game. Kings with an empty possession. Noel with the Slam, on an assist from Gilgeous-Alexander.
Gilgeous-Alexander with a three to bring it within one at 82-81. Kings lead, but then the Thunder are on a roll going into the fourth quarter.
Thunder up 83-82 after Shai Gilegous-Alexander makes an 8-foot jumper.
Hield with 12 points on four of seven shooting.
We'll have video and postgame reaction on Inside the Thunder when this one is over. Thunder is in the bonus with 9:47 left.