By Shawn Whelchel
With both a balanced scoring attack and, perhaps more importantly, a solid defensive outing, the Sacramento Kings earned their fourth straight victory on Wednesday night as they beat the Phoenix Suns 108-99 at US AirwaysCenter.
Sacramento had seven players score in double figures, including all five starters, while leading the Suns throughout the entire game. DeMarcus Cousins led the charge for Sacramento with a team-high 24 points and 11 rebounds with an efficient 11-of-19 shooting from the field.
But while the Kings balanced scoring efficiency is sure to excite some fans, tonight’s battle was won on the other side of the ball, as Sacramento held the usually hot-shooting Suns to under 100 points. Sacramento, who holds the second worst defensive ranking in the NBA by allowing 105.1 points per game, held Phoenix to just 43.7 percent shooting on the night, including a measly 24 percent from beyond the arc.
The game wasn’t a cake-walk for Sacramento though, as a late Phoenix surge brought the Suns to within striking range in the fourth quarter after pulling to within five points with just under five minutes left in the game. But shooting guard Ben McLemore scored six of his 12 points on two consecutive three pointers to extend the cushion for Sacramento heading into the final minutes.
Although the fourth quarter would be the only time that Phoenix would outscore the Kings, the comeback attempt was too little and too late, as Sacramento would hold on for their fourth straight win while advancing their road record to 10-24.
Not only does Wednesday night’s victory improve an abysmal road victory, but it gives the Kings a semi-respectable 8-11 record since George Karl took command of the club. The victory also secured their first season series win over Phoenix since the 2010-11 season.
The Suns will look to continue their hot-streak against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.