Oklahoma City rookie Russell Westbrook was only 7-of-18 from the field but scored a career-high 34 points by going 20-of-22 at the free-throw line. The 20 made free throws were the most against the Kings in their 25-year history in Sacramento.
"You just have to concentrate and focus to shoot every one of them the same,” Westbrook said of shooting 90.9 percent from the line on Sunday. "I was just trying to help my team any way I can. I did it one other time, when I had 20 in high school.”
The Thunder is now 2-14 in games decided by six points or less, 3-20 on the road and 0-9 in games Desmond Mason
hasn’t played. In those nine losses, the Thunder is allowing 107.6 points.
"Defense is what wins games,” said Oklahoma City’s Jeff Green
. "We knew Kevin Martin
was their go-to guy and did a bad job of keeping the ball out of his hands. He can score many ways. And Bobby (Jackson)
gave them a spark off the bench.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks
requested 20 tickets for Sunday’s game. Brooks grew up in Lathrop, Calif., a city of 4,000 people about 50 miles south of Sacramento. His high school coach, many of his six older siblings and his mother, Lee
, 76, who once rebuilt auto parts and now owns a car wash named "Dribbles” in Lathrop, were in attendance.