The Thunder entered their showdown with the Kings winners of three straight and in four of their last five. With a win, OKC could hit .500 for the first time since the season started, when they were 0-0.
The game got off to a slow start for both teams. Each missing a wide array of three pointers to layups. OKC led at the end of one though 23-18. In the second, Buddy Hield hit a three, his only bucket of the first half. That woke the Thunder up. They proceeded to go on a 11-0 run. Danillo Gallinari drilled a three, OKC was up two. Then Dennis Schroder poured one in. He had 15 in the first half. OKC led at the break. Schroder finished with 17.
In the third, the Kings made a run. Buddy Hield hit a pair of triples late to pull the Kings to within two as OKC got a little sloppy towards the end of the quarter.
In the fourth, Chris Paul found Nerlens Noel on not one, but two alley-oops. The big man finished with 11. Noel also made an athletic steal which led to a run out and three by Abdel Nader. OKC was up 10. Nader had a career high five three pointers and 15 points.
But Buddy would answer again with a big three. which cut the Thunder lead to four, then he added another to tie it. Later in the fourth, Hield hit a layup to put the Kings up two. Hield finished with 23 points, a game high. Danilo Gallinari would hit a turnaround to tie it up. Gallo had 14.
With 20 seconds to play, and the Kings trailing by two, the Thunder forced a double team on Hield who gave up the ball to Bogdan Bogdonovic. He put on a beautiful fake on a close out by Schroder, Bogdonovic drilled the three to give Sacramento a 94-93 lead. He had 17.
Last chance for the Thunder, Chris Paul got in the bound, held the ball for about 12 seconds before firing a contested midrange jumper that hit off the front iron. CP3 finished with eight points and a season high 12 assists.
Next up for the Thunder, a couple of days off before finishing up this four game road trip in Denver on Friday.