Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, left, tries to dribble around Donte Greene of Sacramento during Thursday’s game at the Ford Center. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Together, they turned the tide with their energy and hustle and helped the Kings outscore the Thunder 36-25 in the second period to take a 14-point halftime lead.
Rodriguez had five points and six assists in the period. Nocioni scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the frame, going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. Rodriguez recorded nearly as many assists (game-high 11) as the Thunder did as a team (12).
It only got worse in the third quarter, as the Kings ended the period on a 23-4 run that included a 16-0 surge. The Thunder scored its last field goal on a Russell Westbrook jumper with 9:02 remaining in the period.
"We’re definitely not happy with our play,” said Nick Collison. "You can’t just shrug it off as preseason because we’re trying to play well and we’re not doing it. It’s something that we need to get better at. That’s all it is. We just realize we’re not a great team yet and we got to work hard every day to get there.”
With Brooks giving the team an off day today, the Thunder has just four practice days remaining before hosting this same Kings squad for real on Wednesday.
"The talent is there, there’s no question about it,” said Shaun Livingston. "These guys are young, they know how to play and guys have big hearts on this team. We just have to pull together.”