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GAME 65 at Phoenix, Preview & Game Thread

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SACRAMENTO KINGS (29-35)  108.2 ORtg (#15), 111.2 DRtg (#25), 92.8 Poss (# 8)
PHOENIX SUNS     (43-22)  115.0 ORtg (# 1), 109.0 DRtg (#15), 95.6 Poss (# 4)

Same song, second verse?

For the Kings to win this one, the Phoenix defense will need as poor as L.A.'s last Sunday. Though the Lakers and Suns are quite a bit different offensively, their central weapons as it pertains to the Kings remain similar: Speedy, long big men. Like Pau Gasol, Amare Stoudemire should be able to eat the Sactown bigs for dinner. On picks-and-rolls, in transition, on the glass -- Amare has been among the most dominant offensive forces in the league this year, and everything he does is the sort of thing the Kings have sincere trouble stopping.

Pau isn't as strong, and Spencer Hawes was able to negate Gasol's offense for a stretch. No such luck shall befall the battle with Amare. As we saw twice in December, he's just too much for anyone on this roster. (Hell, he's just too much for the entire league.)

Elsewhere, the Kings should be able to score often against an odd Phoenix defense still adjusting to a quasimobile backstop in Shaquille O'Neal. Beno Udrih shouldn't have defense-imposed issues getting to the cup, and late rotations should leave the Sacramento gunners open for some threes. If they hit them, this can be a game (like last Sunday). If not, the Kings would have to pray for an uncharacteristically awful Phoenix performance.

Turnovers wouldn't project to be a problem, and rebounding's never a source of consternation against Phoenix. It all comes down to hitting shots and getting stops (as so many games do).

Game's at 7. Go Kings.