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Kings vs. Suns preview: What Sacramento needs to fix

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To beat the Suns in Phoenix, the Kings need to clean up a few things.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings beat the Suns by the skin of their teeth on Tuesday. To win a second game against Phoenix, a few things need to be cleaned up. Such as ...

1. TURNOVERS! Twenty turnovers is too many for any team. For a team that shoots poorly and against a team that flies in transition, it's nearly death. The Kings had nine turnovers in a nine-minute span in the second quarter. The Kings got blown out during that stretch. The Kings went eight minutes without a giveaway in the first quarter ... and built up a solid lead. It's pretty basic: stop coughing up the ball, especially on lazy, soft passes or aimless dribble-drives into traffic.

2. Turnovers. For the love of God.

3. Stay in front of Gerald Green. Green hit 4-8 from long-range on Tuesday, but you want him shooting, not driving. Whoever gets the primary job marking him (Ben McLemore, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette) needs to keep forcing him to shoot. He won't hit four bombs most nights. He will cram on a poor help defender if he gets by the first guy.

4. Pray Eric Bledsoe doesn't play. Y'all saw what Archie Goodwin did to the Kings. Bledsoe is even better in a similar style. Guh.

5. Feed DeMarcus Cousins. The Suns have no one remotely capable of slowing him. He picked up 15 free throw attempts on Tuesday and still went 9-18 from the floor. The Suns fronted at times, so the guards and wings need to find ways to get the ball in there.

6. Pray DeMarcus Cousins plays. His shoulder is apparently in some pain.

7. Consistent defensive effort. It can't be a fourth quarter only thing. The Kings won by the skin of their teeth. With the sort of defensive effort we saw late stretched out over 48 minutes -- hell, even 40 minutes -- the Kings will be much better.

8. Beware Channing Frye. He's the worst possible non-All-Star defensive matchup in the league for Cousins. Keeping out on him is tough. Remember: he didn't play last year, so it's been a while since Cousins and Jason Thompson have had to deal with him.

And now, a haiku:

Boogie down, DeMarcus.
Boost that All-Star case tonight.
Feast on Plums and Fryes.

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