Philippines, 08 Jul 2020
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NBA - Under-sized Kings lose to Thunder 105-95


PhilBoxing.com




Sacramento - - Amidst the thundering rumor that the Sacramento Kings will eventually wear the Sonics jersey after this season, they battled against and lost 105-95 to the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.

Ironically, the Thunder is the very same lackluster Supersonics team, who created the vacancy in Seattle, following their move to OKC in 2008, en route to booking a date with eventual champion, the Miami Heat, in last year's NBA finals.

The Kings seemed flawless from the opening tip leading by as much as 14 points (23-9) in the first 6:51 minutes of play. That lead however quickly dissipated as the Thunders regrouped and clamped up on the Kings, while relying on former Kings sharpshooter, Kevin Martin, whose three triples immediately tied the game 30-30 at the start of the second quarter.

Russel Westbrook, the Thunder's starting point guard, showing how deserving he is to join teammate Kevin Durant in this year's All-Star Games in Houston, matched Martin's 15-point production, bringing the Thunder to a comfortable 58-51 advantage at the half. From there, the Thunder never looked back. Westbrook masterfully orchestrated the Thunder offense, dishing out 8 of his 14 assists in the pivotal third quarter where they outscored the Kings 28-16.

In a game where height is truly might, the Kings struggled from the paint against the Thunder's vaunted menacing triple tower defense of Serge Ibaka, veteran Kendrick Perkins, both standing at 6'10", and the 6-foot-9 superstar, Durant. The triumvirate forced the Kings' dominant center DeMarcus Cousins to take poor attempts from the outside for an anemic 6 for 16 shooting clip, while consequently turning him to a rebounding spectator with only 3 offensive caroms for the night.

Martin alongside Durant paced the Thunder offense with 24 points apiece. Tyreke Evans had 16 while Cousins and Jason Thompson each made 14 points for the Kings.

Martin's inspired performance, reminiscent of the shining moments of his early career in a Kings' uniform, drew praises from Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.

"He was good! He's been doing that all year. He gives us scoring off the bench. He gives us hustle off the bench and he is a big part of what we've done so far in this early part of the season." Scott said of his reserver guard, who entered the playing court with applauses from his grateful Kings fans.

"I know these rims well. I've had some great times in this arena." Said Martin, as testament to his familiarity of the Kings' aging hard court, the desirability of which, or the lack thereof, is at the center of the continuing contentious battle to keep the Kings in this capital city. (AMJR)

Photo: The author, Sacramento-based lawyer Alberto Montefalcon Jr, (right) poses for posterity with explosive Thunder reserve Kevin Martin after a brief interview at the Sleep Train Arena.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Alberto G. Montefalcon, Jr..


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