Battle of the Pacific: Phoenix Suns (26-26) @ Sacramento Kings (19-34)


Where: Power Balance Pavilion, Sacramento, CA

When: Tuesday April 2nd, 2012 7:00 PM

Starting Lineups

Sacramento:                                                                       Phoenix :

PG: Isaiah Thomas                                                       PG: Steve Nash

SG: Tyreke Evans                                                          SG: Shannon Brown

SF: Donte Greene                                                           SF: Jared Dudley

PF: Jason Thompson                                                   PF: Channing Frye

C: Demarcus Cousins                                                    C: Marcin Gortat

Injury Report:

Sacramento:                                                                                              Phoenix:

SF John Salmons (HIP)-OUT                                                            SF Grant Hill (KNEE)-OUT

SG Marcus Thornton (CALF)-OUT                                                  PF Markieff Morris (ILLNES)-QUESTIONABLE

PF Jason Thompson (ANKLE)-STARTING


When the Kings and Suns take the floor Tuesday night all eyes will be on future Hall of Fame PG Steve Nash matching up against the biggest rookie surprise this year Isaiah Thomas. Nash who leads the NBA in Assists per Game (11.3) isn’t quite as quick or gifted offensively as he used to be, now focuses on reading the defenses and making quick decisions. Isaiah Thomas has done well against some of the NBA’s best PG’s and has been hot of late averaging 18.8 PPG over the teams past 4 games. The Kings are coming off a 116-108 win last night against the Timberwolves, and will be looking to build some momentum as the season winds down. The Suns had the night off Monday, but are coming off a blowout win over the Hornets on Sunday. The Suns  start a 3 game road trip tonight, before returning home for 1 game, then hitting the road again for the next 4 games.

Keys to the Game:

1.) Keep Tyreke going

-Tyreke Evans took over the game last night, and did everything it takes to get the win. Evans scored 24 Points to go along with 10 Rebounds, and a team high 7 Assists. Tyreke also contributed on the defensive side of the ball collecting 2 Steals and keeping his man in check all night. If the Kings want to get back to back wins Evans has to have another strong performance on both sides of the court.

2.) Cousins stays out of foul trouble

Demarcus Cousins has been scorching hot over the past teams 10 games, averaging 22.6 PPG and 10.7 RPG over that span. The problems for Cousins though, continue to be getting into foul trouble and also struggling with the 2nd of back to back games. The key for the Kings and for Cousins tonight will be to get in his usual groove, keep his ground in the paint and just play smart basketball. If Cousins can do that, the Kings have a great shot at winning.

3.) Make your Free Throws

Over the past 7 games, the Kings have lost by 7 or less points 4 times, and in those games they failed to make more then 78% of their FT’s. While the Kings have gotten better at keeping games close, the problems with making FT’s still exists. Last night the Kings shot 82% from the Free Throw line, and it played a significant part in their decisive victory. If the Kings can make 80% of their Free Throws tonight, they have a great shot at getting the W.

Prediction: Kings 97 Suns 95

Game MVP: Tyreke Evans (23 Points, 6 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 3 Steals)