Sacramento Kings look for fourth-straight win tonight in Phoenix


Last night’s 107-106 win over the Philadelphia 76ers could have been another setback game for the Sacramento Kings, but instead they find themselves heading into Phoenix tonight with a three-game win streak on the line.

It would have been nice to see this Kings team take the 76ers down definitively on their home court, but when your defense plays as poor as the Kings’ defense played for a majority of this game, it’s going to be close no matter who your opponent is.

Despite my disappointment for how poor the Kings played for long stretches of last nights win, I loved the way they locked down the 76ers when the game was on the line. The Kings made this game so much more difficult then it needed to be, and you could sense that they knew it. I thought this was a good character win. They played down to their competition, they didn’t play with focus, they repeatedly left shooters open around the perimeter, but they were still able to grind out a win on their home floor.

I also wanted to mention how well DeMarcus Cousins locked down the paint late in the fourth quarter. That was some elite level rim protection. He wanted this win more than anyone, and it got me legitimately excited about what Cousins would look like in the playoffs with this kind of defensive focus. It was an amazing performance.

I thought George Karl summed up last night’s game best in his postgame interview, which I’ll attach below. You can find our full recap



Playing back-to-back games in the NBA is never easy, and when you throw a little travel in there it makes them even more difficult. This is the exact situation the Kings find themselves in tonight when they head to Phoenix to play the Suns.

This is a very different Suns team than the one the Kings have gone 2-1 against this season. Goran Dragic, Miles Plumlee, and Isaiah Thomas are all out, Brandon Knight and Marcus Thornton are in, but more on that later.

Phoenix still has an outside shot at the eight seed in the Western Conference, but they cannot afford to give away games like tonight. They are facing a tired Sacramento Kings team on their home court. If it isn’t a must-win for the Suns playoff hopes, it’s pretty close.

The Suns have gone 9-8 since the trade deadline, but they are currently riding a four-game win streak that included impressive wins over the Pelicans, Rockets, and Mavericks. They are certainly playing their best basketball since Dragic, Thomas, and Plumlee were shipped out. What’s even more impressive is that they’ve gone on this run with Knight and Thornton injured. Both players are questionable for tonights game.

Cousins took a beating last night. The 76ers sent him to the line 19 times, and that didn’t feel like enough considering how many hits he took. I only bring that up because the Kings have been trying to limit Cousins playing time to a certain extent, and this sort of back-to-back would be the perfect time to rest him.

I have no idea if that is even being discussed, but it wouldn’t shock me to see Cousins out of the lineup tonight, and that would obviously have a profound effect on the Kings ability to win this game.

As always, check back in to A Royal Pain after tonights game for our postgame coverage.

Sacramento Kings vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Where: US Airways Center – Phoenix, AZ

When: 7:00 PM, 10:00 PM EST

Broadcast: Comcast Sportsnet California

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

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