The Oklahoma City Thunder are set to host the Sacramento Kings at the Paycom Center this Sunday, with the game tipping off at 3 p.m. ET. This matchup marks their third face-off this season, with the Kings having secured victories in their previous encounters.
Western Showdown Preview: Thunder vs Kings
As the Western Conference's fourth-place holder, the Thunder (35-17) enter this game after winning six of their last 10 games, despite currently being on a two-game losing streak.
Their most recent game ended in a 146-111 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. In contrast, the Kings (30-21), sitting just behind the Thunder at fifth in the conference, come into this game with momentum, having won seven of their last 10 games.
Their last victory was a convincing 135-106 win over the Denver Nuggets in Sacramento. Injury updates reveal that the Thunder will be missing Gordon Hayward, a recent acquisition from the Charlotte Hornets, due to a calf injury.
He is expected to return after the All-Star break. The Kings will be without Chris Duarte, who is recovering from a moderate right ankle sprain sustained during pregame warmups against the Detroit Pistons. The starting lineups for both teams show depth and talent.
The Thunder's lineup features Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at point guard, Josh Giddey at shooting guard, Luguentz Dort at small forward, Jalen Williams at power forward, and Chet Holmgren at center. The Kings counter with De'Aaron Fox at point guard, Kevin Huerter at shooting guard, Harrison Barnes at small forward, Keegan Murray at power forward, and Domantis Sabonis at center.
A key matchup to watch is the point guard battle between the Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Kings' De'Aaron Fox. Gilgeous-Alexander, leading his team in points and assists, averages 31 points and 6.5 assists per game.
Fox, known for his versatility, averages 26.6 points, 5.4 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Additionally, the Thunder's rookie Chet Holmgren, a strong contender for Rookie of the Year, will face off against Kings' center Domantis Sabonis.
Holmgren, with averages of 16.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, will test his skills against Sabonis, who averages 19.8 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game. This game promises to be an exciting clash of talent and strategy in the Western Conference.