“They're playing competitive basketball,” Brooks said. “They're right there every game … They've played some tough teams very well at home.”
Saturday's game concludes a six-game home stand for Sacramento. The Kings are 1-4 on the home stand, which suggests they'll be eager to get a win. The Kings lost to Dallas by two on Wednesday, fell by three to Utah on Monday and lost to Boston by five last Tuesday. Their only blowout losses in the new year came in an 18-point loss at Denver on Jan. 1, a 24-point loss at Boston on Jan. 12 and a 13-point defeat last Friday against San Antonio.
The Thunder defeated the Kings rather soundly in their first meeting, a 102-87 outcome on Dec. 17. But Brooks said that game came so long ago that there is very little from that night's success that can be beneficial.
“We're going to have to go there and do a good job with our defense,” Brooks said. “They've got a couple of bigs that do some good work down low, and they've got two guards (Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih) that are crafty and create a lot of havoc. We have to make sure we are on defensively from the start because this team does have a lot of good pieces.”
THUNDER AT KINGS
When: 9 p.m.
Where: Arco Arena.
TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD Ch. 722)
Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, 640-AM.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
* The Thunder won the first meeting, 102-87, on Dec. 17.
* The Kings have lost four in a row and 12 of their past 16 games. They have the worst record in the Western Conference. But eight of their past nine losses have come by seven points or less.
* Sacramento is 4-27 when allowing 100 points or more.