This game did not start off the way anyone had expected it to as the Phoenix Suns came out and developed a 19-5 lead thanks to Devin Booker’s scorching shot. The Suns kept the lead as the Kings slowly clawed back and eventually regained the lead in the third quarter. The fourth quarter was probably closer than Sacramento would’ve liked considering the Suns were without four key guys but Harrison Barnes and Nemanja Bjelica made outstanding plays in the final minutes which was sealed off by a De’Aaron Fox windmill to send the Kings back to .500 on the season.
The Kings opened with a Buddy Hield three within seven seconds to start the game and started with a 5-0 lead, only to watch Devin Booker and the Suns go on a 19-0 run right after. The Suns would lead 32-19 at the end of the first quarter with Booker knocking down 60% of his shots from the field (6-10) including 2-5 from deep. Rookie DeAndre Ayton added six points and four rebounds. The Kings were led by Nemanja Bjelica’s six points on 2-5 shooting and four rebounds. Marvin Bagley came off the bench and added four points on 2-6 shooting. The Suns also had six steals on six Sacramento turnovers.
Sacramento cut into the deficit and made the game 39-33, but the Suns answered with another run to make the game 48-34. Buddy Hield also broke the single season record for most threes by a King, which was previously held by Peja Stojakovic, The Kings went on a 13-0 run led with Harrison Barnes contributing eight points to that as Sacramento now trailed 48-47. Then Booker scored five straight for the Suns to make it 53-47 at the half as he led all scorers with 22 points. The Kings were led by Barnes scoring 12 points on 5-10 shooting and Hield’s 12 points on 4-11 shooting overall (4-9 from three). Willie Cauley-Stein struck out on the board with all zeroes except for one steal, three fouls and a +/- of -8 in 10 minutes. Kosta Koufos played seven minutes with Harry Giles out for the game and had two points and three rebounds.
Sacramento opened the second half getting some stops with making life tougher for Booker and were able to combine that with points on offense. A Hield stepback three and Bjelica layup after a Fox miss tied the game at 56. Hield then made a three over Dragan Bender to give the Kings a 61-60 lead. The Kings ended the quarter outscoring Phoenix 32-22 and took a 79-75 lead going into the fourth. Booker still led the way for the Suns with 25 as Richaun Holmes added 12 points and five rebounds off the bench and Troy Daniels added 11 going 3-6 from three. Sacramento was led by Hield’s 20 points and he was also 6-11 from three. Barnes chipped in 15 and Bagley had 12 points and eight rebounds. Bogdan Bogdanovic was an awful 1-8 from the field and had three turnovers too, with one coming right at the end of the third.
The Kings outscored the Suns 33-28 and it was close for most of the quarter until the Kings went on a run in the final minutes and sealed it. This dagger dunk by Fox was a special one:
De'Aaron threw down a monster windmill dunk pic.twitter.com/r3jJoCMtHC— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) March 24, 2019
The Kings move back to .500 at 36-36 as they win 112-103.
The first two players can go either way but Harrison Barnes was spectacular for the Kings tonight on both ends of the floor. In 35 minutes, he finished with 25 points on 10-17 shooting overall (5-8 from three) along with six rebounds and two assists. He was also tasked with guarding Devin Booker for the majority of the second half and Booker struggled, scoring only 10 points in the half and putting up tough, contested shots that were way off.
Nemanja Bjelica’s starting frontcourt partner decided to take the game off after grabbing 18 rebounds against Dallas, so Bjelica did it himself. He grabbed a career high 17 rebounds in 36 minutes to go with 13 points on 5-10 shooting, five assists, one steal and one block.
Buddy Hield made history tonight and he shot the three ball very well too. He finished with 25 points on 9-20 shooting, going 7-14 from three. He also added seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block.
Marvin Bagley off the bench had a 16 point, 11 rebound double-double in 29 minutes. He also had an assist and two steals.
De’Aaron Fox had 13 points (3-12 shooting) but made up for the shooting woes with nine assists.
Bogdan Bogdanovic also struggled shooting as he went 2-11 from the floor for six points.
Willie Cauley-Stein played 18 minutes and finished with three points (a lob and one free throw), one assist, one steal and a block. No rebounds after having 18 in his last game. That’s Willie in a nutshell.
The Kings were an awesome 17-38 from three (45%). It’s been a while since they shot the ball this good from deep.
Kings won the rebound battle 51-43 and each team had 25 assists and 14 turnovers.
Sacramento had more fast break points at 18-14 but Phoenix had more points in the paint at 42-38.
The Kings head to Los Angeles for their final matchup against the Lakers this season. Tipoff is tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. (PST). The Lakers are coming off a 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets but have the rest advantage.