The last time the Sacramento Kings played the Phoenix Suns, the good guys earned a win thanks to explosive output from star
s Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins in the fourth quarter. (Whoops.) Well, Cousins was grounded for this match-up due to the Saturday night altercation with Donte Greene. Tyreke Evans was an obvious focus of the Suns' defense, and while he had a team-best 21 points and seven assists, he was also goaded into six turnovers and just 7-18 shooting.
So leave it up to the Goon Squad, particularly Carl Landry (20 points and 10 rebounds) and Greene himself (19 points on 7-10 shooting), win the game for the Kings. Samuel Dalembert, starting for Cousins, was rather good too, scoring on a bevy of, uh, unorthodox and unexpected plays, including a Tyrekian drive to the hoop.
That the Kings won without Cousins doesn't speak to any chemistry issue or Ewing Theory nonsense. (Of particular note, notice that Evans wasn't any better without Cousins "clogging the lane," as some 'Reke fans might argue.) The Kings won on pluck, and by showing a talent base deeper than you'd believe on first glance. While that statement may not seem like a ringing endorsement for Paul Westphal, it should be noted that he played the rotations well (Landry played 40 minutes) and the Kings never let the Suns, who led the bulk of the game, get out of reach.
In two weeks' time, Landry nor Greene nor Dalembert may be with this team. But they each made a case for their value on Sunday, and while the team's future lays with Evans, Cousins and Omri Casspi, there's room for any of these complementary pieces ... should the Kings choose to keep them.