Kiwi big man Steven Adams posted a solid stat line of 13 points and 13 rebounds in the Oklahoma City Thunder's win over the Sacramento Kings in Oklahoma on Tuesday (NZ time).

But, if you look further along the stat sheet, you'll find Adams might have been thankful that the game wasn't any closer.

The 24-year-old left nine points at the charity stripe through his 31 minutes of action, converting just 3-12. It didn't hurt the Thunder though, as they topped the struggling Kings 95-88.

Read more: Healthy Steven Adams a massive lift for OKC Thunder

Advertisement

The Thunder were forced to finish the match without reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, after the point guard was ejected late in the fourth quarter ater blowing up at an official for missing what appeared to be a blatant foul.

Charging to the rim, Westbrook appeared to be hit across the face by counterpart DeAaron Fox. Westbrook sumbled after the contact and fell the the ground clutching his face. The referee pulled him up fr a travel, and Westbrook exploded - receiving two technical fouls in quick succession to end his night early.

Things got off to a sluggish start for the Thunder, as they found themselves trailing by six points at half time.

Whatever coach Billy Donovan said to the side at the break obviously ignited some sort of spark in the squad, as they went on a tear in the third quarter - outscoring Sacramento 31-16 in the period to take a commanding lead.

It proved to be the difference. It was the only quarter of the match the Thunder won - being outscored 20-18 in a dismal fourth - however the gaps they had opened up was too wide for Sacramento to come back from. Forward Carmelo Anthony, who had been struggling with his stroke of late, was the one to carry the side into the lead, finishing with a game-high 20 points.

The win sees OKC strengthen their hold on the fifth seed in the Western Conference as they move to within four games of current fourth seed, the San Antonio Spurs, after the Spurs were upset by the Atlanta Hawks earlier in the day.

The Thunder wll now have a day off, before meeting Kyle Kuzma, one of the rookie of the year frontrunners, and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday (NZ time).