Kings at Thunder: Without Tyreke Evans, Kings Suffer Biggest Loss of the Season

Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) – Daequan Cook scored 20 points and pulled down five rebounds off the bench, as the Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the Sacramento Kings, 126-96.

Kevin Durant added 17 points and seven boards for the Thunder, who have won five in a row against the Kings, including three meetings this season. Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic each chipped in 16 points.

“Our energy was unbelievable. I think the best all year,” Durant said. “At the start of the game our defense was on point and our offense was on point. We just clicked on all cylinders tonight. It was a good win for us.”

DeMarcus Cousins returned to the lineup and recorded 21 points and 13 rebounds in a reserve role for the Kings, who have dropped six of seven. Cousins didn’t travel with the team to Phoenix for Sunday’s game and was fined for an altercation with a teammate after a loss to these Thunder on Saturday.

Sacramento was without guard Tyreke Evans due to plantar fasciitis.

The Thunder came out of the gates on fire, scoring the first six points of the game. Beno Udrih made Sacramento’s first field goal with 10:22 left, but Oklahoma City scored the next eight points to grab a 14-2 lead.

The next field goal from the Kings came with 6:35 remaining, but that only cut the gap to 19-6. The Thunder went up by 17, 37-20, on a pair of James Harden free throws with 48.2 seconds to go.

The Kings scored the final four points of the period to cut their deficit to 37-24 after 12 minutes.

Holding a 43-31 lead with 8:47 left in the second, Oklahoma City pulled away with a 13-0 run. Cook made a trio of three-pointers during the stretch, which Eric Maynor capped with a layup for a 56-31 margin with 6:17 remaining.

Sacramento scored the final six points of the first half to get within 18, 68-50. The Thunder shot 53.3 percent from the field over the first 24 minutes, while the Kings made just 37.5 percent of their shots.

Oklahoma City started the second half on a 19-7 spurt to put the game away. It was 100-75 heading to the final stanza.

The Thunder cruised to victory in the fourth.

“They jumped on us right from the start and we could never get back in the game,” Kings head coach Paul Westphal said. “It was a great performance by them; we couldn’t stop them, we couldn’t score. Next thing you know, we are down 20 points and chasing them the whole game. They’re a good team at home and we obviously couldn’t get anything going.”

Game Notes

The Kings, who had won three in a row on the road, were searching for their first four-game road winning streak since the 2004-05 campaign…Cook went 5- of-7 from beyond the arc…Udrih, Jason Thompson and Donte Greene each had 10 points in defeat…Serge Ibaka tallied 15 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder, who shot 50 percent from the field.

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