Thunder Too Much for Kings to Handle

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:20 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Apr 11, 2011 10:49 PM CDT

Grant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – When it comes down to the end of the regular season, all the bottom-feeder teams can hope for is to play spoiler for a playoff team.

But despite their best effort, the Sacramento Kings couldn’t play spoiler against the Thunder on Monday night in a 120-112 OKC victory.

The Thunder picked up their fifth-straight victory, but remained in fourth place in the Western Conference standings thanks to a win from the Mavericks as well.

Oklahoma City is now just a half game back from the Los Angeles Lakers, who would have to lose out for OKC to have a shot to pull ahead of them.

The Thunder are one game back from Dallas, whom they hold the tiebreaker over thanks to being a division winner.

And with just one game to go in regular season play, six of the eight playoff seeds haven’t been set in stone yet. The only two teams that have clinched their particular seed are the Spurs (No. 1) and the Nuggets (No. 5 seed).

OKC did encounter some trouble with the Kings, especially right before halftime. The Thunder led by one with 2:44 in the second quarter but a mini-run from Sacramento gave the Kings a 57-51 lead at the break.

Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 10 and didn’t regain the lead again until a layup from Thabo Sefolosha with 4:30 in the third gave his team a 74-73 edge.

The Thunder increased their lead in the fourth and were able to hold off several charges from the Kings to pick up their 55th win of the year.

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 32 points and added eight rebounds. Russell Westbrook had 30, nine assists and six rebounds, but he and Durant combined for 11 turnovers as well.

Serge Ibaka had 14 points, eight rebounds and six blocks for OKC.

The Thunder shot the ball a remarkable 57 percent from the field.

Oklahoma City will have its final regular season game at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Oklahoma City Arena.