Russell Returns, But Buddy Leads Kings to Win Over Thunder

Russell Westbrook returned to the Oklahoma City Thunder starting lineup and led OKC in scoring with 29 points, but a slow start was too much to overcome and former OU star Buddy Hield led Sacramento to a 117-113 win over the Thunder on Monday night at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.

Hield sparked a 13-5 Kings run in the fourth quarter to hold off the Thunder, who were playing catchup most of the game.

Westbrook returned to the floor after missing six games with a sprained ankle, and had 29 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists, making four 3-pointers.

The Thunder fell behind 14-2 to start the game and trailed by as many as 19 points in the first quarter.

OKC chipped away to finally get their first lead in the third quarter and entered the fourth up one, 85-84.

The Kings started the final period on a 7-0 run and never trailed again.

The Thunder got even and were down two when Hield knocked down the first of three fourth quarter 3-pointers to extend the Kings’ lead to five.

Hield hit two more to build the lead to nine and got to ten before the Thunder made interesting late before losing by four.

Hield had 25 points and made five 3-pointers for Sacramento.

The Kings made 16 three-pointers on 42 percent shooting beyond the arc.

Four other Thunder players joined Westbrook in double figure scoring.

Paul George had 27 points, including a pair of three-pointers late that forced the Kings to make free throws to clinch it.

Hamido Diallo started with Terrance Ferguson out for personal reasons, and Diallo had a career high 18 points, making all seven of his field goal attempts.

Timothe Luwawu-Caborrot played well again with 11 points and five rebounds, and Steven Adams had 11 points and 15 rebounds.

Alex Abrines once again missed the game with illness.

Iman Shumpert was hot in the first half for the Kings and had 23 points for the game.

The Thunder’s three-game winning streak came to an end as OKC dropped to 10-6 on the season.

The Thunder finish their three-game road tripĀ  Wednesday night at Golden State at 9:30 pm.