Sacramento Kings Demolished By Phoenix Suns

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Someone forgot to tell the Sacramento Kings that the regular season has begun as they drop game one to the Phoenix Suns.

Can we pretend like that didn’t just happen? That the Sacramento Kings didn’t just lose to the Phoenix Suns by 29 points and have 27 turnovers? I’m sure all of Sacramento wants to do just that, and hopefully, this serves as a wake-up call for the team – every single game matters in a season with playoff aspirations in the Western Conference.

Let’s start with a positive before everything, and I mean everything, went south in a hurry.

Buddy Hield came out on fire, scoring 12 of Sacramento’s first 15 points and reminding us all why he just received a 4-year $94 million extension. I like to keep track of the first substitution of the game, and today just as we saw in the preseason, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Richaun Holmes checked in together off the bench. Instead of taking the place of Hield and Dewayne Dedmon, Dedmon and Marvin Bagley checked out, which kept Hield’s hot hand in the game.

There was less staggering of De’Aaron Fox and Hield within the second unit, but it was a unique situation with Hield catching fire coupled with Fox’s foul trouble.

Phoenix was able to attack the basket early and often, mainly in the form of Ricky Rubio feeding Deandre Ayton. Ayton had 4 attempts at the rim in the first quarter, a number that would only worsen as the game progressed.

During the second quarter, there was more of the same, with Sacramento being held up by Hield’s 11 points. He would end the first half with 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist on 8 of 12 shooting and 5 of 8 from deep. Bogdan Bogdanovic on the other hand, ended the half with 0 points on assists on three shot attempts.

Leading 59-54 at the half felt like a blessing considering that Sacramento only assisted on 9 of their 23 made field goals. Phoenix had 15 assists on 21 makes and 34 of their 54 points in the paint, but shot an abysmal 2 of 16 from three. Then, the third quarter started

Abysmal Third Quarter

This may have been some of the worst basketball I have ever seen. First, Fox racked up his fourth personal foul within two minutes and was sent to the bench. Over the first five minutes of the second half, Sacramento was outscored 14-5 and had five turnovers.

Again, Phoenix was dissecting the lackluster defense from the Kings and getting to the rim with ease.

The Phoenix Suns scored 32 points in the third quarter. The Sacramento Kings scored 17 and had 10 total turnovers, more than they had in their entire first half. There is no one player to pin this issue on, as six different players had a turnover in the third.

Hield’s game-saving scoring disappeared. He had just three points in the third and only another three in the fourth, this coming after a promising first half in which he scored 22 points and finished the game with 28.

The turnover woes did not slow down in the fourth, when Sacramento had another nine of them, bringing them to 27 on the night.

Phoenix would end up with 35 points off turnovers. Any team can win games with numbers like those. The Suns’ defense was not overwhelming the Kings by any means, as Sacramento just was not locked in and seemingly didn’t realize this was game one of a grueling 82 game playoff race. This wasn’t just a slow start, they completely forgot to put gas in the car. Sacramento finished with 11 fast break points, a number that Fox should be capable of reaching on his lonesome.

Final Thoughts

Luke Walton got his share of questions directed towards him from Kings’ twitter, due to playing Trevor Ariza over Bogdanovic for most of the meaningful minutes of the game. Dedmon also only played 14 minutes in a game where the Suns were relentless in attacking the paint.

While I understand the concerns, no substitutions would have altered the outcome of this game in favor of the Kings. They simply did not come to play tonight and we have to hope that a different team — or any team, for that matter — shows up come Friday night at home against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Next. Royal Roundtable: 10 Questions For The Sacramento Kings. dark

The Kings can put this one behind them and show the league why Sacramento’s fanbase was rightfully excited for this season before witnessing this disappointment.