by Charlie O. Mallonee
The hopes and dreams of the Sacramento Kings hit a brick wall at 100 mph when they were blown out in their 2019-20 season opener in Phoenix by the Suns 124-95 on Wednesday night. The Suns did make upgrades to their team personnel in the offseason, but no one has them even coming close to making the playoffs. The Kings are considered to be a potential playoff team.
The first half was a back and forth affair
The teams played evenly in the first half. The Kings won the first quarter 29-25. Buddy Hield put 11 points in the book sinking 4 of 7 shots (two 3-pointers) to go along with seven points from Harrison Barnes.
Hield led the charge for Sacramento in the second period as he put in 11 of the Kings 30 points scored in the quarter. De’Arron Fox added five points and three assists.
The Suns scored 29 points in the second quarter. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the scoring attack with eight points and Ricky Rubio added five.
At the half, the Kings were up 59-54 over the Suns.
The Suns came out of halftime on fire. They hit 14 of 25 (56%) of their shots from the floor and went 3-for-6 from 3-point range.
The Kings shot just 29.4% for the quarter while turning the ball over 10 times which resulted in 19 points for Phoenix.
When the quarter ended, the Suns held an 86-76 lead over Sacramento and they would never look back.
Two major problems for the Kings
Turnovers were a major problem for Sacramento in their season opener. The Kings committed 27 turnovers that resulted in 35 points for the Suns. Last season, the Kings highest turnover total was 26 which ironically came in a game on the road in Phoenix.
The Kings were dominated in the paint. The Suns outscored Sacramento 68-34 in the paint on Wednesday night.
Both of those problems were seen in India when the Kings played the Pacers, but both issues had appeared to go away in the preseason games played in the States.
Players of the Game
Deandre Ayton recorded a double-double scoring 18 and grabbing 11 rebounds. He also blocked four shots and had one steal. Ayton went 9-for-14 shooting for a 64.3 Field Goal Percentage. For fantasy players, Ayton’s score was 46.2.
Buddy Hield scored 28 points, hauled in five rebounds and added two assists. He hit 10 of 19 shots (52.6%) from the floor and went 6-for-12 from 3-point land. His fantasy score was 32.0.
- Marvin Bagley III recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds
- Harrison Barnes scored 12 points and added six rebounds
- Corey Joseph put up 10 points and dished out four assists
- De’Aaron Fox added eight points and five assists while missing most of the third quarter with foul trouble
- Devin Booker scored 22 points and added 10 assists
- Ricky Rubio recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists
- Kelly Oubre Jr. put up 21 points plus nine rebounds
The Kings will return to action on Friday night when they will host the Portland Trail Blazers in their home opener at the Golden 1 Center.