Kings Blog

Breaking down the Kings’ coming week

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook gestures to the crowd during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Oklahoma City won 103-87.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook gestures to the crowd during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Oklahoma City won 103-87. AP

SUNDAY AT THUNDER

Time: 4 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 950, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: The Kings’ shaky defense against Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant could make it a tough night for Sacramento.

Thunder players to watch: Durant (28.2 points) and Westbrook (27.5 points) combine to score 55.7 of the team’s 108.2 points per game.

Last meeting: Thunder wins 116-103 on April 10 in Oklahoma City. Kings point guard Ray McCallum, now with the Spurs, had 17 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Hometown take: From Erik Horne, The Oklahoman: “After 19 games, the Thunder is only three games over .500. Assessing the Thunder at the quarter-season mark, however, there’s still upside for a team that hasn’t hit its stride or found that identity in a logjammed conference. Despite being just 11-8, the Thunder is third in the Western Conference (entering) Saturday.”

TUESDAY VS. JAZZ

Time: 7 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, NBA, 950, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: Center Rudy Gobert is out with a knee injury, so the Kings need to attack the paint often.

Jazz players to watch: Gobert was averaging 2.64 blocks and 10.9 rebounds per game. Center Jeff Withey had three blocks and three boards in 10 minutes in Thursday’s loss against Orlando. Will he see more time with Gobert benched? Might he provide a consistent defensive presence?

Last meeting: The Jazz earned its second of back-to-back victories over the Kings, 103-91, on April 8. Omri Casspi led the Kings with 16 points.

Hometown take: From Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake City Tribune: “Et tu, Rudy? Sad, but … Et true. Gobert, too, with a Grade 2. The biggest problem in sports has nothing to do with ego or economics or cheating or bad behavior. It centers on the unsuitable human anatomy. ... The worst thing going in sports is … the bad wheel.”

THURSDAY VS. KNICKS

Time: 7:30 p.m.

TV/radio: TNT, 950, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: New York is moving toward respectability, thanks in part to rookie Kristaps Porzingis.

Knicks players to watch: Carmelo Anthony averages 21.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, while power forward Porzingis averages 14.1 points and 9.4 rebounds.

Last meeting: The Kings won 124-84 on March 3 behind DeMarcus Cousins, who returned after missing two games with injuries to score 22 points, including 11 for 11 from the foul line, and pull down 10 rebounds.

Hometown take: From Harvey Araton, The New York Times: “Jackson can say now, as he did last week: ‘(Porzingis has) got the right temperament, right attitude, carries himself well.’ But he couldn’t possibly have known Porzingis would adapt so quickly, so firmly, so unhesitatingly. Asked if his on-court calm was as authentic as it appeared, Porzingis admitted to being nervous, but only before the Knicks’ first preseason game at the Garden.”

Jason Jones

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