The Phoenix Suns came into the game with eight straight losses and were just blown out by the Golden State Warriors yesterday. It was all the makings of a Kings loss and it’s hilariously sad that we have come to that conclusion before the game even started. The Kings fell down in the second, fell further in the third and spent the fourth quarter trying to overcome their mistakes. The ball fell to Harrison Barnes for the game winner but he missed it. It was wide open and the Kings are now 12-20.
Injury notes: De’Aaron Fox (bask spasms) OUT. Marvin Bagley (foot) OUT. Deandre Ayton also OUT for Phoenix.
Kelly Oubre and Ricky Rubio quickly grabbed two baskets for the Suns while the Kings started off predictably cold. They then went to the guy who’s been consistent all season in Richaun Holmes who converted an and-1 on an alley oop layup from Buddy Hield. Hield missed his first jumper from the elbow, but would later swish in a three. Cory Joseph got baskets in the paint and then Harrison Barnes pulled out the euro and the Kings lead 14-10. Holmes continued to do Holmes things by blocking shots and scoring down low. Bogdan Bogdanovic came in but a bad pass let the Suns get an easy two. Wenyen Gabriel got minutes. Hield drilled another three, but later turned it over with a few seconds left in the quarter and Elie Okobo was fouled by Bogi on a three right before the buzzer. The Kings ended by giving up their lead, 31-30 Phoenix. Hield led the Kings with eight points, two rebounds, two assists and a block.
The second quarter commenced with some Justin James minutes. He started 0-3 and got elbowed in the face by Dario Saric. Based on my expert analysis, that’s not good. Both teams struggled to get a field goal for a couple of minutes. Holmes came back in and his patented one-handed push shot got the roll. Phoenix went on an 8-0 run and took their lead to 44-37. Bogi made five in a row for the Kings. Holmes and Luke Walton were called for technical fouls and Booker made both free throws. Booker later made a tough shot from the corner and the Suns led 59-49 at halftime, their largest lead. Joseph led the Kings with 10 points and Oubre’s 15 led the Suns.
Bjelica and Barnes got to the rim for some baskets but the Suns started to knock down consecutive threes that blew the game open. The Suns would lead 67-53 in what became their largest lead of the game. Hield crossed over Saric and made a three, then Bjelica followed it up with another and it became 69-62. Barnes took it right at Saric and converted at the rim forcing a Phoenix timeout. As soon as the Kings gave a glimmer of hope, the Suns started to go on a little run and all of Sacramento’s shots went in and out. The Kings cut the lead to one after a Buddy two. Barnes was also playing center. Phoenix led 81-77 to end the quarter with Buddy’s 19 leading Sacramento. Booker scored 21 for the Suns.
James and Holmes made shots to tie it at 81, but Bjelica airballed a three. James later dunked a one-handed alley oop from Bogi. Aron Baynes and Bogi exchanged threes, then Bogi had it stripped on a potential game-tying possession. For every Kings basket, the Suns always had an answer to keep their lead intact. Bogi tied it at 96 with a three but then Booker answered again. The Kings had no answers defensively. When they get a stop, they gave up an offensive rebound. On offense, they were in the bonus and got free throws but of course, they blew those opportunities. Then they needed to foul, but instead gave up a wide open dunk to Baynes.
Bogdan Bogdanovic bounced back from his awful shooting performance against Minnesota but it wasn’t enough. He shot 8-12 overall and 5-7 from three for 22 points, four rebounds and three assists. He had 11 in the fourth but didn’t shoot much down the stretch.
Buddy Hield found his range today, despite missing good looks inside the arc. He finished with 23 points, five rebounds, two assists and a block on 8-17 shooting and 4-6 from three. Let’s hope we get this Buddy moving forward.
Harrison Barnes will be remembered for the miss at the end, but he notched a double-double. He had 21 points and 10 rebounds along with one steal and one assist. He was 0-4 from three and 7-10 from the free throw line.
Richaun Holmes didn’t shoot much, but had 14 points on 5-6 shooting and three rebounds. They should’ve drew up more plays for Holmes.
The Kings were 12-31 from three (38.7%), much better than their previous games. However, their 16-24 (66.7%) from the stripe is inexcusable.
Phoenix grabbed 41 rebounds to 36 for Sacramento.
The Suns also had 30 assists to just 19 for the Kings.
The Kings only turned it over 12 times, but they find other ways to lose.
The Kings travel to Denver to play the 22-9 Nuggets tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. PST. Denver beat Memphis earlier today and will also be on a SEGABABA.