NBA For Monday
By Don Phillips
MONDAY • JANUARY 4, 2016 • 5:00 PM PST • CHESAPEAKE ENERGY ARENA, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
The Kings face the Thunder for the second of four regular season meetings. The Thunder won three of the four matchups against the Kings in 2014-15. The Thunder have a 14-game winning streak against the Kings in Oklahoma City. The last time the Kings won in Oklahoma City was on March 30, 2008 (120-107). The Thunder lead the
all-time series against the Kings, 139-82, including 82-46 in the Sacramento era.
The Kings have recorded 20 or more assists in each of the last 29 games. The streak is now the fifth longest in the Sacramento era. The Kings have dished out 20 or more assists in 32 of the 33 games this season – the only game they did not reach the 20-assist plateau was on November 3 vs. Memphis when they had 17.
The Kings have allowed 100 points to opponents in five of the last six games … Sacramento has recorded 20 or more assists in each of the last 29 games (5th longest streak in Sacramento era) … In the last two games, Marco Belinelli is averaging 23.5 ppg (.643 FG%, .455 3pt%, .750 FT%, 18-28 FG, 5-11 3pt, 6-8 FT) in 27.5 mpg … Omri Casspi has scored in double-figures in 16 of the last 17 games he has played in … Rajon Rondo has dished out 10 or more assists in 10 of the last 12
games he has played in.
Rajon Rondoleads the NBA in triple-doubles (4), 1st in assists per game (11.3 apg) … DeMarcus Cousins is ranked 8th in scoring (24.4 ppg) and 9th in rebounding (10.3 rpg) … Omri Casspiis ranked 3rd the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (.477) … Among NBA rookies, Willie Cauley-Steinis ranked 6th in rebounding (5.1 rpg) and 4th in blocks per game (1.05 bpg).
Through the first 14 games this season, the Thunder allowed an average of 105.2 points (on .441 percent shooting) as OKC only held the opposition to under 100 points on three occasions. However, in the last 19 games, the Thunder is holding the opposition to 97.1 points per game (on .428 percent shooting). Additionally, in those last 19 games, the Thunder has only surrendered 100+ points on six occasions. Prior to Dec. 17 in Cleveland,
OKC had held its previous seven opponents to less than 100 points scored (equaling a Thunder era record).
As one might expect, Oklahoma City has traditionally found its greatest success when outrebounding the opposition. Through 33 games this season, the Thunder ranks third in the NBA in rebounding (47.5 rebounds per game). OKC is 17-5 this season when outrebounding the opposition. This comes on the heels of the 2014-15 season in which the Thunder led the NBA in rebounding(47.5 rpg). Oklahoma City finished the year by going 18-4 when outrebounding the opponent by 10 ormore. Enes Kanter proved to be a welcome addition to the Thunder as he led the team by averaging 11.0 rebounds per contest in his 26 games with OKC last season. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook led all NBA guards with 7.3 rebounds per game.
Selection: Oklahoma City
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