Tip-Off: 9 PM CT
Location: Golden 1 Center (Sacramento, California)
Television: Bally Sports Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live-tweets and discussion during the game
The Oklahoma City Thunder is ending 2021 on a pleasant note, or at least it appears that way, as they have won 4 of their 5 last with the only loss coming to the Phoenix Suns, who hold the NBA’s best record. Right now, with 3 games left to play this week, OKC has a 6-6 record for December, and this is probably about as close as they’re going to get all season to going .500 or better in a month. They have a decent shot at it, too, starting with Tuesday night’s matchup in Sacramento against the Kings.
Every season seems to be like a rebuilding year for the Kings, and no matter how close they get to finding some level of success, it seems like something is always there to go wrong. At 13-21, they’re just a game better than the Thunder, but Sacramento’s December has not been quite as successful as OKC’s. The Kings are losers of 4 of their last 5, and for the month they have gone just 5-9. On one hand, their schedule has been pretty brutal, full of playoff teams, but on the other hand, Sacramento is just not a winning franchise.
Despite Sacramento’s struggles, they’re still a solid favorite against the Thunder, and that’s likely due to OKC’s inability to get wins on the road. With a 5-10 record away from home, only 3 of the 10 losses has been by single digits, and there have been plenty of blowouts, including the historic 73-point loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis just a few weeks ago. Still, this should be a solid matchup between two young teams who have plenty of talent.
- PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- SG: Aaron Wiggins
- SF: Kenrich Williams
- PF: Luguentz Dort
- C: Derrick Favors
- PG: De’Aaron Fox
- SG: Tyrese Haliburton
- SF: Harrison Barnes
- PF: Chimezie Metu
- C: Richaun Holmes
- Darius Bazley is OUT (health and safety protocols).
- Josh Giddey is OUT (health and safety protocols).
- Vit Krejci is OUT (G League – on assignment).
- Tre Mann is OUT (health and safety protocols).
- Aleksej Pokusevski is OUT (health and safety protocols).
- Jeremiah Earl-Robinson is OUT (health and safety protocols).
- Aaron Wiggins is AVAILABLE.
- Alex Len is QUESTIONABLE (health and safety protocols).
- Davion Mitchell is OUT (health and safety protocols).
- Neemias Queta is OUT (health and safety protocols).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 33-15 against the Kings (19-4 at home, 14-11 on the road).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the regular season series against the Kings 10 times, lost it twice, and tied it once.
- The Thunder went 0-3 against the Kings last season (0-1 at home, 0-2 on the road).
- The Thunder is 1-0 against the Kings so far this season 1-0 at home, 0-0 on the road).