Game Recap: Sacramento Kings Get Burned By Phoenix Suns


Well that game was tough.  The Sacramento Kings fall to 1-4 on the season and it’s evident that without DeMarcus Cousins this team is going to struggle to get wins, especially in a loaded Western Conference.

George Karl elected to change the starting line up tonight deciding to go with Rajon Rondo, Darren Collision, James Anderson, Rudy Gay, and Willie Cauley-Stein

It seems like each team the Kings have played has light up on fire. The Suns opened the game 6/9 on 67% from the field opposed to just 3/8 on 38% for the Kings just 6:45 into the 1st quarter.

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Eric Bledsoe opened up the 1st quarter scoring 10 points and got to wherever he wanted on the floor.  The Kings didn’t have an answer for him. Defense continued to be a big struggle tonight as well as scoring the ball. The first quarter ended 28-18 Suns.

Coach Karl opened the second quarter with Collision, Marco Belinelli, Caron Butler, Omri Casspi and Kosta Koufos. Once again the Kings struggle from the free throw line. Before this game, the Kings were dead last in the NBA in free throw shooting at just 65.5% and tonight did not help their case, as they finished the first half shooting 6/12 from the charity stripe.

Nov 4, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) drives to the basket in the second half against the Sacramento Kings at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Suns defeated the Kings 118-97. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A big component of the first half was the Kings inability to capitalize on the Suns eleven first half turnovers. They simply couldn’t get buckets when they needed to. The Kings struggled from the field in the first half shooting a poor 39.5%. Another component of the first half was Rudy Gay’s struggles. In a game without Cousins, the Kings needed Rudy to carry the offensive load and tonight he just didn’t have it. On 17:33 first half minutes Rudy finished with just 5 points on 2/9 from the field.

Koufos was by far the most impressive player during the first half.He ran the floor well, was active on the boards, and played excellent defense.  He finished the first half with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. More importantly, he was the spark the team needed to get back into the game.

The second quarter ended with a score of 49-40 in favor of the Suns.

Coach Karl opened up the third quarter the same way he opened up the game with Rondo, Collision, Anderson, Gay, and Cauley-Stein. The Kings struggles continued on their first three possessions resulting in turnovers, including a shot clock violation on the first possession. 

Coach Jeff Hornaseck made a great half time adjustment to open the 3rd quarter. The Suns elected to take away dribble penetration into the paint, forcing the Kings to shoot the ball from the perimeter.  However, Anderson caught fire from long range and got the Kings right back into the game cutting the score to 55-53, and later on 55-55.

Unfortunately, that is the closest the game got. The Kings suddenly went from being tied to being down 75-62 in what seemed like a second. The Suns picked up their defense and went back to knocking down shots led by Brandon Knight who was non-existent in the first half. Knight scored all of his 17 points in the second half. The 3rd quarter ended with the Suns up 81-69.

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The Suns relentless effort and ability to continually score the ball sealed the game. The difference in the game was the Suns’ 26 points off turnovers. The Suns also shot the ball from distance extremely well. They finished the game going 11/24 from three. 

The Phoenix Suns handed the Sacramento Kings their fourth loss of the season 118-97. 

The Kings will need to gather themselves and get ready for another tough game on Friday against the Houston Rockets. A takeaway from this game is the defense continues to be a major problem. The Kings cannot get stops when they need them, and are having to play catch up throughout the whole game, which is simply unattainable. Let’s hope Boogie gets healthy soon because it is evident the Kings need their All-Star center back.

Next: NBA Rookie Rankings: Cauley-Stein at #3

The Kings schedule doesn’t get any easier as they take on James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Friday.