The Kings' inability to slow down Devin Booker played a major role in the 122-117 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Monday at Golden 1 Center.
While Sacramento threw "the kitchen sink" at the 26-year-old, it wasn't enough as he carried the Suns, who were without Chris Paul, on his back offensively, going off for 44 points.
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"Book had a heck of a game," Kings coach Mike Brown told reporters postgame. "We threw the kitchen sink at him, and he was really good tonight. He was aggressive. He just kind of willed his team to the win."
The Suns' guard was a thorn in the Kings' side all game. Booker's offensive production was balanced throughout the game, scoring 21 points in the first half and 23 in the second half, with eight points coming in the fourth quarter.
Despite the Suns' superstar going off for over 40 points, Brown liked what he saw from Harrison Barnes and Davion Mitchell, who double-teamed Booker
"I thought HB and Davion did a heck of a job," Brown added. "He's talented, and then we double-teamed him. We double-team a lot of pick-and-roll situations. They run the most pick-and-rolls, I think, in the league and he has his hand involved in a lot of those pick-and-rolls. Give him credit."
Domantas Sabonis knew what the defense had to do in order to make life difficult for Booker, which Sacramento was unable to do. Instead, the former Kentucky product shot 17-of-28 from the field.
"He's been playing amazing all year," Sabonis told reporters after the loss. "So our job was to make it not so easy for him. We couldn't get that done in the first half.
"And then a player like that, once he gets going, it's tough. Then last quarter, his teammates had really big shots. He was making the right reads and we just wanted to get the ball out of his hands."
The Kings now are on a three-game losing streak and face adversity for the first time since their seven-game winning streak. Sacramento is a young team that still is learning how to put away games consistently against some of the best teams in the league.
Sacramento will attempt to get back in the win column against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday at Golden 1 Center.