After a truly incredible win on Thursday, the Kings are back at it in Sacramento tonight, meeting the Suns. The Kings have won four of five, and the loss was a two-point defeat at Minnesota during which an epic comeback came juuuust short. (Literally 'just short,' as Donte Greene's three at the buzzer to win it went front rim.)
Thursday erased all of that. Not only did the Kings win the first quarter and hang tough throughout the game, but Sacramento completely out-executed Oklahoma City -- the team with the No. 1 record in the NBA -- down the stretch. Now, the Thunder are exactly known for creative and spectacular execution late in fourth quarters. Many consider that their biggest flaw. But the Kings are among the youngest teams in the league, have a brand new coach and a weird, non-traditional roster. And they schooled OKC's ass in the final five minutes, reeling off a 19-6 run for the win. Just amazing.
Phoenix didn't have similar success on Thursday -- the Suns lost at home to the Rockets. By record, they have been about as good -- err, mediocre -- at home as they have been on the road, so don't expect a walkover. Phoenix is 6-8 on the road and 5-7 at home. But point differential has been a different story: the Suns are -1 per game at home and a rough -5.9 points per game on the road. Of particular issue has been the team's turnover problems: the Suns average 14.7 per game on the road vs. 12.8 at home.
With pretty much the rest of the month on the road, this is a big game if the Kings are serious about getting more national attention this season. A win would vault Sacramento into No. 3 in the Pacific Division. There's a lot of season left, but the Kings haven't finished better than last in the division since 2008. Legit progress, no matter how small, is legit progress.
Game's at 7. Game threads at 7 and 8:30. Important note about GIFs and photos coming at 4. Let's go Kings!