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Kings 120, Suns 116: Bogi goes lights out

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The Serbian sniper went for a career high 31 points, including 7 threes.

Kimani Okearah

The ending of this game absolutely didn’t need to take 30 minutes or however long it was, but Sacramento dominated the Suns for the majority of this game. The scoreline doesn’t do it much justice, but many Kings’ players went for career highs. Bogdan Bogdanovic went FIBA Bogi on the Suns and dropped 31 points including seven threes and only three misses. Cory Joseph’s passing was sensational as he racked up a career high 14 assists. The Kings move to 6-7!

Quarterly Recap

Both teams started the game pretty sloppy, giving away turnovers effortlessly. Halfway through the quarter, Richaun Holmes, former Sun, started to take control with eight points on 4-5 shooting and four rebounds prompting a Phoenix timeout. The Kings led 12-5 as Holmes made bucket after bucket in the paint with hook shots and posters. That grew to 22-9 as Nemanja Bjelica showed off his point guard-esque moves, taking the ball to the rim and finishing followed by a long ball. A Yogi Ferrell three made it 31-17, the largest lead of the game and then Dewayne Dedmon made a tough shot down low for the final basket of the first. Sacramento led 33-19 with Holmes’ eight points leading the way.

Justin James commenced the second with an alley-oop dunk and then a few minutes later, swatted Ricky Rubio from behind. Dedmon exited the game but put together solid minutes with eight points on 4-4 shooting. Bogdan Bogdanovic drilled a three from a Cory Joseph skip pass and the Kings led 47-29. Second the previous sentence and the lead became 50-31. Bogi hits two more threes! The quarter ended 62-45 and boy, the Kings looked great. It helped that the Suns shot 15-47 from the field (30.4%), but the Kings were taking advantage as they shot 62.5% overall (25-40). Bogi shot a nice 6-9 from the field for 18 points, six assists, three rebounds and two steals. Holmes went up to 12 points on 5-6 shooting and eight boards. Devin Booker led the Suns with 12 points on 5-9 shooting and four assists.

The lead grew to 23 after Harrison Barnes knocked down a three, 70-47. Joseph then got on the board for his first points of the game on a fallaway two going left, accompanying his eight assists. A 26 point Kings lead was cut down to 18 by the Suns with 4:46 remaining. Sacramento stopped hitting their shots, struggling to counter Phoenix’s zone defense and the Booker-led Suns began making their shots, so Luke Walton called a timeout. The Suns outscored the Kings 30-25 and cut the lead down to 12 heading into the fourth. Bogi only had two points in the quarter, taking his total to 20. Holmes had 18 points and nine rebounds, while Buddy Hield was 3-13 from the floor, including 1-6 from deep for 11 points. Booker led his team with 20 and rookie Cam Johnson added 16 off the bench on 6-9 shooting. Kings led 87-75.

Phoenix got the lead down to single digits. Sacramento kept fouling on defense and turning the ball over on defense. Booker wasn’t even in the game either. Bogi, however, kept the lead afloat with two big threes while giving Joseph his 10th assist. Bogi and Barnes made big shots again to take the lead back up to 16, with Barnes delivering a silky eurostep. Bogi then made another three to earn a new career high with 31 points, but didn’t come back with less than a minute to go due to an apparent injury around the hip area. The final 30 seconds took what seemed like 20 minutes to finish as the Suns went for the free throw game. The Kings pulled out a win and moved to 6-7.

Best Players

Of course we start with Bogdan Bogdanovic. One of Vlade Divac’s best moves as a general manager was winning the Bogi trade with Phoenix and tonight proved that again. Bogi shot 11-14 overall for 31 points, including seven threes made. He also racked up seven assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Richaun Holmes continues to excel as the starting center, going for 20 points on 8-11 shooting and 15 rebounds against his former team. He added two blocks and a steal as well and went a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe.

Cory Joseph was signed to be a defensive stopper, but his role has grown because of De’Aaron Fox’s ankle sprain. Joseph stepped up offensively tonight and although his shooting inability has always been his biggest knock, he delivered 14 assists, five rebounds, one steal and two blocks to go with six points.

Nemanja Bjelica also continues his great stretch of solid performances. He put up 17 points on 7-12 shooting today and made three threes, with the last one coming from Serbia. He also grabbed eight rebounds to go with one steal and one block.

Notable Stats

The Kings shot 42-79 (53.2%) overall and 13-31 (41.9%) from three. Despite Buddy Hield’s off game, Sacramento shot well from deep largely thanks to Bogi. They were also 23-25 from the line, good for 92% and made them when it mattered the most.

Sacramento won the rebound battle 43-39 and the assist battle 28-24. Great ball movement for most of the game, besides when they first started to give the lead up late in the third.

The Kings did turn it over 19 times compared to Phoenix’s 12.

Seven fast break points for the Kings. They’re continuing to win without pushing the pace.

Next Game

The Kings start head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets as a four game road trip out East starts. Tipoff is at 4:30 p.m. PST. The Nets (5-8) play the Charlotte Hornets tomorrow.