In a game of runs and droughts, the Phoenix Suns made a push from behind that the Kings just couldn’t overcome. Donning their fresh alternate jerseys, the boys in black dominated the majority of the game, forcing turnovers and establishing the tempo. However, leading 71-70 at the end of the third, the Kings sputtered into the final quarter, scoring just five points in the first seven minutes. Phoenix took this opportunity to make their final push, and Shannon Brown hit back-to-back three pointers to cement the Suns’ victory. With this loss, the Kings fall to 12-25, and are an abysmal 4-19 on the road.
SWARMING DEFENSE – The Kings did a commendable job causing turnovers and getting the Suns out of rhythm. Coach Keith Smart praised his team for forcing 15 turnovers, saying they did as good of a job as possible against a point guard like Steve Nash. With the exception of a few blow-by’s and shooters left wide open, Sacramento played well on the defensive side of the ball. While the intensity somewhat regressed later in the game, that’s not what killed the Kings. Rather, it was their…
POOR SHOOTING – …across the board. THAT’S the straw which broke Slamson’s back. It was a tale of two halves, as Sacramento shot 46% in the first half, and 33% in the second. The big three of Evans, Thornton, and Cousins went a combined 24-61 shooting (39%), and relied heavily on jumpers, floaters, runners, and other low percentage shots which did not fall in that deciding final quarter. By the time Tyreke took it upon himself to put the team on his back, it was too late, and Phoenix had already jumped ahead for good.
OTHER OBSERVATIONS – Isaiah Thomas started at point guard yet again, moving Tyreke to the wing….DeMarcus Cousins had his 5th straight double-double (16 pts 14 rebs)…Marcus Thornton was given a technical foul for delay of game (the Kings had already received a warning)…Donté Greene started in place of Jason Thompson to combat Channing Frye and Markieff Morris’ shooting prowess. They were held o a combined 3-19 shooting for 13 points and no three pointers….Jimmer Fredette went scoreless and only shot the ball one time…..JJ Hickson did not play after suffering a hip pointer in Thursday’s loss against the Clippers; the team is still actively trying to trade him.