Photo credit: @Suns
By: Jeremiah Salmonson
Tuesday night was the second night of a back-to-back and the Kings looked poised to start a winning streak. The night before, the Kings beat the Orlando Magic 111-95 breaking a four-game losing streak. After the game, the Kings traveled to Phoenix to take on the Suns at 6:00 PM PST.
In the first quarter, the Kings came out sluggish. Four minutes into the game, the Kings were trailing 12-8 to the Suns. The Kings didn’t play a bad first quarter, but the Suns had a great quarter. In the first, the Suns managed 35 points compared to the Kings’ 32. It was something that you don’t normally see from the Suns, who came into this game 9-32 on the season.
In the second quarter, the Kings would come out in a big way. Doing what most people thought they would in the first, the Kings scored 40 points to take a commanding 21-point lead. On the other hand, the Suns scored 18 points to dig themselves a deep hole going into the third quarter. At the end of the first half, the Suns trailed 72-53. Leading scorers for the Kings were Buddy Hield and Ben McLemore both with 11 points.
In the third quarter, the script flipped. Just like the Kings scored 40 points in the second, the Suns scored 33 to tie the game. One of the main problems for the Kings was the number of turnovers allowed. The Kings allowed a crippling 25 turnovers Tuesday. That number is uncharacteristically high for the Kings, who are known for not allowing a high amount of turnovers. After three quarters, the game was tied at 86 points apiece.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Kings were by no means out of the game. What they had to do was get the momentum back and seal the win. Unfortunately for Kings fans, they weren’t able to do that. With the minutes winding down on the clock, the Suns and Kings traded shot for shot.
In the end, the Suns scored a few points too many for the Kings to handle. As the final buzzer sounded, the Kings were left to reflect on how they blew a 21-point advantage to lose to the worst team in the NBA. The obvious answer is the turnovers. The Suns received 25 free possessions from the Kings, which is not a good formula for winning. The final score was 115-111.
The loss put the Kings’ record down to 20-21. The win improved the Suns’ season to 10-32.
The Kings return home to host the Detroit Pistons Thursday at 7:00 PM PST.