The Oklahoma City Thunder are peaking at the right time.
The comeback kings of the NBA did it again, clawing their way back from 19 points down to secure a 112-108 win over the Sacramento Kings for their fifth win in a row.
Now sitting in the fifth seed in the Western Conference, the Thunder have won 14 of their past 17 games.
The Kings took a 61-50 half-time lead behind Harry Giles III (15 points) and Buddy Hield (12 points), extending their advantage to 78-59 in the third, before the Thunder made their move.
In the blink of an eye, OKC went on a 15-0 run in the space of four minutes and held the Kings scoreless for nearly six minutes, to cut the deficit to 82-81 heading into the fourth.
OKC closed the quarter on a 22-4 run and outscored the Kings 31-21 in the third.
FOR THE LEAD@shaiglalex |#ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/raIKIUAgKw- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) February 28, 2020
The two teams traded the lead in the fourth, before Danilo Gallinari's alley-oop gave them a one-point lead with just under six minutes to go. He followed it up with a three-pointer with 4:49 to go, sparking an 8-0 run.
"Freak of nature right here, watch out," he jokingly said of his high-flying play.
Whatever it takes. @gallinari8888 | ⚡️⬆️ pic.twitter.com/Ktxj6VdWC0- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) February 28, 2020
"We've been in this situation before this year and we knew it was all about energy and intensity," Gallinari said post-game. "We didnt bring it in the first half, so we had to come out strong."
"We know the plays that we want, we know how to play in those minutes and the plays we need to play in order to get baskets. We were in the bonus early so it was tough for them to play defence."
Gallinari led the way with 24 points on the night, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 20 points and Chris Paul, 17 points and seven assists.
His name is Chris Paul & it was the 4th quarter. What else do you need to know? 🔥 🔥 🔥 pic.twitter.com/O9bznJURzj- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) February 28, 2020
Big man Steven Adams continued his impressive play out of the All-Star break, with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, adding seven rebounds, while Dennis Schroder recorded 13 points and seven assists off the bench.
🇳🇿 @RealStevenAdams and the @okcthunder secure their 5️⃣th win in a row, pulling off a 112-108 comeback win over the @SacramentoKings #ThunderUp- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) February 28, 2020
📊: 15 PTS | 7 REB | 7-9 FG pic.twitter.com/7UXPsbSBDW
The Thunder now sit 1.5 games back of the fourth-seed Houston Rockets and 2.5 games back of the Los Angeles Clippers.
While they continue to defy expectations this season, they will face a tough test on Saturday when they travel to take on the Milwaukee Bucks on the second night of a back-to-back.
For the Kings, six players scored in double figures led by 21 points from Harrison Barnes. Harry Giles III finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Nemanja Bjielica added 18 points and nine rebounds and Buddy Hield chipped in 15 points off the bench.
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