The Sacramento Kings came out with a defensive intensity that we haven’t seen much of this season and the Phoenix Suns had no idea what hit them Tuesday evening at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Although the Suns made a late run to cut the final score to 122-105, this game was over in the first five minutes. Seven Kings players scored in double-figures to help propel Sacramento to a second straight victory.
De’Anthony Melton led the way for Phoenix, scoring 21 off Igor Kokoskov’s bench, but it wasn’t nearly enough to slow down the young team from California.
Here are five notes as the Kings moved back over .500 at 12-11 on the season.
There was a point in the mid second quarter when Buddy Hield had more points than all of the Phoenix Suns combined. The third-year shooting guard led the way for Sacramento with 20 points in 18 minutes of action.
This was the 10th 20-point performance of the season for Hield after scoring 20 or more just 13 times all of last season. The Oklahoma product is now averaging 18.4 points per game on the season for Sacramento.
De’Aaron Fox started the game 0-for-5 from the field and missed two of his first four free throws as well. He continued to attack and it paid off.
The Kings' starting point guard finished the night with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting and added seven assists and just one turnover. That’s not a bad stat line for 27 minutes of action.
The reserves struggled to keep the margin of victory over the 30 point plateau, but there was a lot to like from the second and third teams. Bogdan Bogdanovic led the way with 14 points, but he was one of five players to come off the bench and score in double-figures.
Rookie big man Harry Giles scored 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Troy Williams and Kosta Koufos each added 11 points and Justin Jackson dropped in 10. Frank Mason would have joined the crew in double-digits, but he missed a breakaway dunk in the final seconds.
Phoenix came into the night 4-19 on the season and they played without their two highest scorers. This isn’t your Mike D’Antoni, seven seconds or less Suns, but they’re still an NBA team.
The Kings held the Suns to just 43.7 percent from the floor, 27.9 percent from behind the arc and they forced the home team into 21 turnovers. It’s a place to build from for coach Dave Joerger’s crew.
Avoid the Trap
The Phoenix Suns are struggling. They were missing their top two scorers and their third leading basket maker is a 20-year-old rookie center. Sacramento was coming off a nice win over the Indiana Pacers. This game had all the makings of a classic trap game.
From the opening moments when the Kings took a 10-2 lead, it was clear that they were ready to play and weren’t overlooking the Suns. They had a game plan and they stuck to it.
Sacramento took a 36-9 advantage into the second quarter and led by as many as 35 in the wire-to-wire win.