Nerlens Noel converted lob passes from Dennis Schroder into dunks on consecutive possessions during a second-quarter flurry Wednesday night, propelling the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 120-100 victory over the host Sacramento Kings.
Schroder finished with a game-high 24 points to go with nine assists, and rookie Luguentz Dort surprised the Kings with a career-best 23 points, helping the Thunder win for the sixth time in their last seven games.
Bogdan Bogdanovic had a team-high 23 points for the Kings, who saw a two-game winning streak end.
Oklahoma City never trailed in the game but was up just 45-40 past the midpoint of the second period before a 14-3 run put them in command the rest of the way.
Schroder had a hand in 12 of the 14 points in the burst with five points and three assists, one on a 3-point hoop by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
The Thunder went on to lead 59-47 at halftime and never saw the advantage shrink to fewer than seven in the second half.
Schroder’s points came on 8-for-13 shooting, including 3-of-5 success from 3-point range. The Thunder outscored the Kings 45-27 on 3-pointers, connecting on 15 of their 34 tries.
Dort, who went undrafted last June after having played one season at Arizona State, had never previously scored more than 10 points in a game. He sank a career-high five 3-pointers (on six attempts) and shot 8-for-12 overall.
Danilo Gallinari chipped in with 19 points, Gilgeous-Alexander 17 and Noel 12 for Oklahoma City, which shot 50 percent from the field.
Chris Paul, who had missed the Thunder’s previous game to remain in Los Angeles following Kobe Bryant’s death Sunday, returned to the club and contributed nine points, seven rebounds and a game-high 10 assists in 26 minutes.
De’Aaron Fox had 19 points, Buddy Hield 13 and Harry Giles III 10 for the Kings, who were beginning a stretch of five of six at home.
Bogdanovic and Hield each went 3-for-10 from beyond the 3-point arc, and their teammates combined to go just 3-for-19 as the Kings struggled to 23.1 percent shooting from long distance and 46.2 percent overall.
—Field Level Media