The Kings hosted the Suns for a back-to-back in Sacramento in the second and third games of the season, splitting the two matchups as each team emerged with a 2-1 record.
Four months later, let’s just say the two teams no longer have the same record.
The Suns are no. 2 in the West with the second-best point differential in the league while the Kings have fallen five games out of the play-in with their recent eight-game losing streak. They’re also down two starters and will be subbing in Damian Jones, who started his season in Phoenix, in place of fellow former Sun Richaun Holmes at center.
The Kings have made a bad habit of falling behind early. They have the worst first-quarter defensive rating by nearly four points per 100 possessions and were down double digits in the opening frame last night to the Wizards. They had to travel to play this second night of the back-to-back while the Suns have been chilling in Phoenix. The Kings have to be careful not to lose contact early.
Devin Booker has been on a roll of late, averaging 27.1 points per game since the All-Star Break. But there are no easy hiding spots in this Suns lineup. We’ll know soon enough if Sacramento is prepared to handle them.
Where: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
When: Thursday, April 15 at 7 p.m. PT
How to watch/listen: NBC Sports California, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
Opposing perspective: Bright Side of the Sun
Projected Starting Lineups
Kings (22-32): De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Moe Harkless, Damian Jones
Suns (39-15): Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Deandre Ayton
Kings: Richaun Holmes (hamstring), Marvin Bagley III (hand) — OUT
Suns: Abdel Nader (right knee) — OUT