The Kings get burned by the Suns 124-95 in their NBA season opener

PHX Kingx team
Graphic: @Kings.com

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.

Third-quarter turnaround

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

PHX

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.

SAC

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.

Honorable mention

Kings

  • 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

Suns

  • 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

Up next

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.

 

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Suns missing two key scorers; Kings’ Bagley was a maybe, but he can help with offense

sactownroyalty photo: The Phoenix Suns DeAndre Ayton (22) and the Sacramento Kings Marvin Bagley III (35) faced each other Tuesday night in Phoenix

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Despite having a 4-20 record the Phoenix Suns have home floor and the Kings come in with a shaky defense after the game with Indiana a 111-110 win for the Kings Saturday. Then got the win over the Suns 122-105 Tuesday night.

#2 The Suns are absent a lot of help so much so that they have holes in their line up that could leave them in the Arizona desert of winning for awhile, out Devin Booker, T.J. Warren is day to day.

#3 The Kings last played Saturday giving them two days off and with the rest they should win this game with the Suns two best scorers out of the line up.

#4 How did you like that match up between centers of the Kings Marvin Bagley and the Suns DeAndre Ayton. Bagley was listed a game time decision Bagley has been suffering from back spasms. Bagley and Ayton went to school together.

#5 The Kings head to Cleveland for a December 7th at 4:30PM. No more LeBron how does Charlie see the Kings going up against the Cavs at Quicken Loans Arena.

Today’s podcast is sponsored by Hana Zen at San Francisco’s Pier 39 for fine Japanese Cuisine don’t miss the great sushi and fine Japanese food at Hana Zen.

Charlie O does the Kings podcasts each Tuesday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Scoring duo of Warren and Booker too much for Kings to handle: Suns win 111-101

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Devin Booker scores two of his 26 points against the Kings Photo: Jordan Chapin SportsRadioService.com

by Jordan Chapin with Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento- Friday night at the Golden 1 Center, the Sacramento Kings fell to Devin Booker, and the Phoenix Suns, 111-101. Kings started out hot, as Skal Labissiere scored 10 of the Kings first 17 points, including an emphatic put back dunk. The Suns had an answer, by the name of T.J Warren, who hit seven of his first eight shots from the field. Phoenix finished off the first with a 14-0 run in the final two minutes. 

 
The Kings trailed the Suns throughout the entirety of the second and third quarters, as T.J Warren continued his efficient night with a bit of help from Marquese Chriss who finished with 14-points (3-for-3 from 3P). Sacramento struggled from 3-point land tonight, shooting only 8-for-24 from behind the arc. 
 
In the first several minutes of the fourth, the Kings put together a 8-0 run, capped off by a Willie Cauley-Stein, alley-oop dunk, from Bogdan Bogdanovic resulting in a 97-93 lead by the Kings. With just over four minutes left to go, Phoenix tied the game 98-98, then it was the Devin Booker show.  In the last four minutes, Booker and the Suns took over the game, scoring 12 unanswered points, and Devin booker handed the Kings their 23rd loss of the season by scoring nine of those final 12-points on his own. 
 
Despite having seven players in double digits, the Kings fell to a hot Phoenix Suns team, who has won five of their last seven games. The Kings will try to split the season series at two games a piece when they face the Suns in Phoenix, on April 3rd. Sacramento will continue there homestand, New Years Eve, against Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies. 
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Battle of the big men as Zach Randolph attacks the basket against Tyson Chandler Photo Jordan Chapin SportsRadioService.com
 
Top Performers
Kings 
Star of the Game: Skal Labissiere 
Skal played only 15 minutes, but made the best of them. Despite having sub-par performances and a couple DNP’s in his last few games, Labissiere ended with 12-points, 5-of-6 from the field, four rebounds, including two offensive rebounds, and an assist. Skal played with a lot of energy and scored 10 of the Kings first 17 points. 
 
Co-star: Garrett Temple 
 Temple helped keep Sacramento in the game shooting 5-of-8 from the field(2-for-3 from 3P)and ended with 12-points to go along with five dimes and three boards. Temple hit a few big shots throughout the game, but it wasn’t enough to get the victory. 
 
Suns 
Star of the Game: T.J Warren 
Warren was the thorn in the Kings side tonight, racking up a double-double, finishing with 26-points and 10 rebounds. T.J Warren was very steady throughout tonight’s game and was the biggest key in the Suns win. 
 
Co-star: Devin Booker 
 Despite a below average shooting night from Booker, he finished with 26-points, three assists and three rebounds. He shot only 3-for-9 from behind the arc, but in the end, hit the dagger that put the Suns over the top in a 111-101 victory.
Coach’s Comments after the game

Team Stats

Phoenix (14-23)

  • Field goal shooting: 41-for-85 (48.2-percent)
  • 3-Point shooting: 13-for-30 (43.3-percent)
  • Free Throws: the Suns converted 16-of-24 chances at the charity stripe (66.7-percent)
  • Rebounds: 16 offensive 29 defensive 45 total +7 over the Kings
  • Assists to Turnovers: 26 assists; 11 turnovers that became 12 Sacramento points
  • Second chance points: Suns 19 Kings 11
  • Fast Break Points: Suns 18 Kings 14

Sacramento (12-23)

  • Field goal shooting: 37-for-80 (46.2-percent)
  • 3-Point shooting: 8-for-24 (33.3-percent)
  • Free Throws: the Kings put in 19-of-23 opportunities from the line (82.6-percent)
  • Rebounds: 9 offensive 29 defensive 38 total -7 to the Suns
  • Assists to Turnovers: 22 assists; 10 turnovers that turned into 15 Phoenix points
  • Points in the paint: Kings 40 Suns 38
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Frank Mason III drives through traffic to the basket versus the Suns Photo Jordon Chapin SportsRadioService.com

Up Next

Phoenix

The Suns headed home after the game and will host the Philadelphia 76ers on New Year’s Eve. The Suns and Kings will meet one more time this season on April 3, 2018 in Phoenix.

Sacramento

The Kings will also be back in action on last day of 2017 when they will host the Memphis Grizzlies at the Golden 1 Center in a 4:00 pm tilt. Sacramento will then have a busy first week of the New Year as they will host the Hornets, Nuggets and Spurs to kickoff the month of January.

 

 

Kentucky Wildcats players dominate the Kings-Suns game – SAC wins 107-101

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Suns
Chriss and Labissiere go at it in Kings-Suns game Photo NBAE

An NBA game was played on Wednesday night in Phoenix and a Kentucky men’s basketball scrimmage broke out. The Kings featured their Wildcats – Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere. The Suns put the spotlight on their former Kentucky players Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis. Phoenix gave former Wildcat Eric Bledsoe the night off even though he dressed for the game.

The future of these two franchises has been tied together since draft night in June of 2016. Phoenix and Sacramento agreed to a draft night trade that may effect the direction of the two organizations for years to come.

The Kings used their lottery pick to select Marquese Chriss out of the University of Washington and then sent him to Phoenix. In exchange, the Suns sent the Kings two first-round picks and the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic.

With those draft picks, the Kings selected center Georgios Papagiannis out of Greece and forward Skal Labissiere out of Kentucky. Sacramento knew that Papagiannis was going to be a development project and figured Labissiere would be as well. “Papa G” is developing while Skal is growing by leaps and bounds in every game he plays in for the Kings.

The Suns have also been pleased with the growth of Chriss. He has looked like a 19-year old rookie at times, but Chriss has also had moments of brilliance during the season. Phoenix has every reason to be excited about having him on their roster.

On Wednesday, the game belonged to the Kings and their young big men. Sacramento downed the Suns 107-101 in the “Valley of the Sun” winning their second consecutive game. The Kings were led by the incredible play of rookie forward Skal Labissiere who scored a game-high 32 points and made it a double-double by adding 11 rebounds. He shot a very respectable 11-for-15 from the floor including a 3-point basket.

Fellow Kentucky alum Willie Cauley-Stein came up big again for the Kings versus the Suns as well. He posted a double-double game with 14 points and 11 rebounds. WCS also had five assists, four steals and four blocks.

Rookie shooting guard Buddy Hield had a quiet night as he spent much of his playing time playing defense against the very tough Devin Booker. Booker scored 19 points but he had to take 26 shots to make those points. Hield and Garrett Temple defended Booker well in the game.

Other Kings who contributed: Afflalo 14 points, Koufos 13 points/six rebounds, Ty Lawson 11 points/six assists, Garrett Temple eight points and Langston Galloway played again putting up eight points.

TJ Warren led the Suns scoring attack with 24 points. Booker had 19. Chriss had a big night putting up 17 which is just over twice his season average. Alan Williams had a double-double game with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Tyler Ulis also had a double-double with 13 points and 13 assists.

The Kings are off until Saturday when they will face the Thunder in Oklahoma City.

Buzzer beating bank shot gives the Suns a 105-103 win over the Kings

Phoenix Suns v Sacramento Kings
Booker shoots the game winner versus the Kings on Friday night Photo: NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

NBA fans used to live for the final two minutes of a game. They were rough, tumble and full of exciting action. Now with all of the stoppages for replay reviews, the excitement of the final 120 seconds has been all but lost.

On Friday night at the Golden 1 Center, the sellout crowd (17,608) were treated to an “old fashion” nail biting two minute finish in the game between the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings.

The excitement began with 2:32 remaining in the game when DeMarcus Cousins broke a 98-all tie with a step-back 3-point basket from the right corner off an assist from Matt Barnes. The Suns missed a jump on their possession. The Kings grabbed the rebound and called a timeout with 2:09 to go.

Cousins missed a jumper coming out of the timeout that was rebounded by Bledsoe of the Suns. T.J. Warren sank a jump shot at the 1:34 mark to bring Phoenix within one point of the lead at 101-100.

Each team missed a field goal opportunity then Cousins missed a layup that Lawson rebounded and then he was fouled by the Suns Tyson Chandler. The Kings maintained possession and Cousins attempted a 3-point shot that missed and Chandler rebounded.

The Suns Warren hit a 3-pointer (assist Booker) with 21.6-seconds on the clock to give his team a 103-101 lead. The Kings immediately called a timeout.

The Kings ran their play out of the timeout and with 8.2-seconds to go Darren Collison sank a 15-foot jump shot (assist Cousins) to tie the game at 103-103. It was the Suns turn to call a timeout.

Phoenix inbounded the ball at midcourt and to no one’s surprise the ball wound up in the hands of second-year guard Devin Booker. Booker put up a 20-foot fade away bank shot that  went in the hoop as the final buzzer sounded. The Suns had won the game 105-103 to the stunned amazement of the big crowd.

Who did what in the game

Kings (19-31)

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Cousins hits two of his 22 versus the Suns Photo: NBAE

 

  • DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings scoring attack with a triple-double: 22 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists(sixth career triple-double). Cousins got into foul trouble and picked up his fifth personal foul with 9:22 to go in the 4th quarter and he did not return until there was just 3:18 left in the game. How much of a difference could the big man have made in that six minutes is now a question to be pondered over beers at the local pub.
  • Darren Collison scored 19 points for the Kings as he shot 8-for-16 from the floor and hit 3-of-4 3-point attempts. Joerger was very happy with Collison’s play after the game.
  • There was a Ben McLemore sighting on Friday night. McLemore made a rare start as the team made adjustments with Temple out due to injury and Arron Afflalo did not dress due to illness. McLemore played 35-minutes and scored 18 points.
  • Ty Lawson made an impact in the game off the bench again for Sacramento on Friday night. The speedy guard put up 18 points hitting on 7-of-10 attempts from the field and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
  • Matt Barnes did not have a big scoring night (6-points) but hauled in 10 rebounds and dished out 4 assists for the Kings.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein played only 14-minutes in the contest but came up big especially in the six-minutes that Cousins was sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter with the five fouls. He also scored four points and had four rebounds.
  • As a team the Kings outrebounded the Suns 43-39. They outscored Phoenix in the paint 36-20. Sacramento even scored more fast break points (14-9) than the Suns. The Kings had 23 assists versus 13 turnovers which resulted in 22 Phoenix points.

Suns (16-34)

  • 20-year old guard Devin Booker scored a game-high 33 points for PHX. He scored just seven points in the first half. Booker went 11-for-24 shooting and hit 4-0f-8 from beyond the 3-point line. He also went 7-for-10 from the free throw line.
  • T.J. Warren was the offense for the Suns in the first half. While much of the team seemed less than present, Warren was active and ready for action. He finished with 21 points including going a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
  • Eric Bledsoe had a 20 point game for the Suns in 33-minutes on the floor. He was just 4-of-12 from the floor but was 3-for-6 from 3-point land.
  • Maybe the disappointment of the night for the crowd was the play of local product Marquese Chriss. Chriss who played his high school basketball in Elk Grove and was drafted by the Kings and then traded to Phoenix played just 15-minutes and scored only two points. Chriss picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter which really limited his playing time. It may well have the combination of playing before a large contingent of family and friends while trying to defend DeMarcus Cousins that keep the young rookie from having a better game.

Joerger’s postgame thoughts

suns-collison
Collison had a big second half for the Kings Photo: NBAE
  • Heck of a basketball game
  • Both teams started kind of slow (it was 49-49 at the half)
  • I’m really proud of out guys. We held a fast break team to nine-points on the fast break and basically won every statistical category there is.
  • I thought Darren (Collison) really stepped up his game in the second half.
  • It was tremendous that we had great point guard play with Ty (Lawson) and Darren at times playing together.
  • It was great to see Ben McLemore get going a little bit and heck of a basketball game.
  • Very proud of out team

Focusing on 8th place in the Western Conference

The battle for the eighth and final playoff slot in the Western Conference continued on Friday night:

  • Denver now has sole possession of 8th place as they beat the Bucks 121-117
  • Portland is in 9th place 1.5 games back after losing to Dallas 108-104
  • Dallas has jumped into 10th place 2.5 games back of Denver with their win over Portland
  • The Kings are now in 11th place 3.5 games behind Denver after Friday’s loss to Phoenix

Up next on the schedule

The Kings have no time sit and ponder their loss to the Suns. The Golden State Warriors make a return visit to the Golden 1 Center on Saturday night. It is never easy to face “the Splash Brothers” but to have to play them on second night of a back-to-back set is really unfair.

Phoenix returns home on Saturday night to host the Milwaukee Bucks who lost in Denver on Friday.

Kings end losing streak by crushing the Suns 142-119

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings
Darren Collison drives to the basket versus the Suns. Photo Credit: Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento – Here are words you have not heard often this season – the Sacramento Kings waltzed their way to a win on Saturday afternoon destroying the Phoenix Suns 142-119.

The win ended a 3-game losing streak for the Kings. It was the eighth consecutive loss for the Suns (12-24) who have to play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday.

The Kings (13-20) led by as many as 17 points in the first half but the Suns would not go down for the count. Phoenix outscored the Kings 35-28 in the second quarter and looked like they were ready to make a game of it.

At the half, the Kings led the Suns 59-53.

Sacramento came out in the third quarter looking like a team that was ready to put away their opponent. The Suns kept fighting and took the lead with 8:16 to go in the period. The Kings took the lead back off a Rudy Gay dunk with an assist from Casspi and they never looked back.

By the end of the third quarter, the Kings led the Suns 103-87 and every one in the building knew the fourth quarter would be a formality.

The Kings kept the hammer down in the fourth quarter outscoring the Suns 39-32. There was even a Willie Cauley-Stein sighting late in the game. Cauley-Stein played for the first time in almost a month due to a dislocated finger. The big rookie scored the first time he had the ball in his hands.

On Saturday, the Kings did what they should have done to Philadelphia on Wednesday night. They beat an inferior team and protected their home court. Sacramento is now 9-9 at home this season.

Kings

George Karl pointed to the play of Darren Collison as one of the main reasons the Kings beat the Suns. Collison came of the bench and scored 21 points hitting on 7-of-10 shooting attempts (2-for-4 3-pointers). He dished out six assists and went 5-for-6 from the free throw line in his 28 minutes of playing time.

DeMarcus Cousins had a positive outing scoring 32 points and grabbing nine rebounds. The big man shot 11-for-15 from the floor and 9-for-11 from the free throw line. Cousins spent a great deal of time in the paint and it payed off for the Kings as the Suns could not stop him.

Rajon Rondo posted another double-double game. He scored 15 points and distributed 15 assists in just 30 minutes on the floor. Rondo continues to amaze with his rebounding ability. He had six rebounds in the game with many coming at crucial moments for the Kings.

Marco Belinelli followed up his 28-point performance against the Sixers with 19 points versus the Suns. Belinelli shot 7-for-11 from the floor (2-for-5 long range) and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the foul line.

Omri Casspi had another solid game as a starter for Sacramento. He put up 13 points and hauled in seven rebounds in his 29 minutes on the floor. It is hard to see Casspi not staying in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future.

As a team, the Kings shot 60.9-percent from the field. They hit on 9-of-23 3-point attempts (39.1-percent). Sacramento outscored the Suns 60-32 in the paint.

Sacramento out-rebounded Phoenix 46-25. The Kings scored 14 second chance points to just nine for the Suns.

The Kings also took good care of the basketball. They turned the ball over 15 times while recording 30 assists for the desired 2-to-1 ratio.

Suns

No statistic of the game may be more important than the eighth consecutive loss for the Suns. If the Suns lose to the Lakers on Sunday, it is very conceivable that Jeff Hornacek will not be the Phoenix coach on Monday. The Suns have already replaced two of their assistant coaches.

Brandon Knight led the Suns scoring attack with 23 points. Rookie Devin Booker had an impressive game putting up 21 points for Phoenix.

The Suns had six players score in double figures.

Phoenix just could not match the Kings play in the paint and it cost them the game.

George Karl

Karl 1-2-16

The win over the Suns gave Kings head coach George Karl his 1115th NBA regular season victory. That ties him for fifth all-time with Phil Jackson.

When asked how it felt to tie Jackson on the all-time wins list Karl said, “Its a good, fun thing with my family. My son, my daughter, my son-in-law and my staff, we joke about it all the time. As I said to you before, he’s a great coach, he’s maybe the best. I don’t know what our record is against him, but I’m pretty sure it not very good. I know its not very good in the playoffs, but it might be decent in the regular season.”

What they said after the game

“One thing I just said after the game was we had two really good days of practice,” said Karl. “The effort in the second half, DC (Darren Collison) was incredible. It was effort. I’m not sure it was pretty. I’m not sure it was conceptually excellent. It was just effort. I’m just an old school guy that believes that effort magnifies talent.”

‘Oh it’s huge, it’s huge,” said Darren Collison on the victory. “We were embarrassed by the losses we had previously. We were able to get a win. It always feels good to get a win especially when you (have to) go on the road.”

Rajon Rondo made it clear that only the press is making his return to Dallas a big deal. He said it is just another road game.

He’s been coaching a long, long time,” said Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek about George Karl. “I played against him so he’s been there a long time. He’s always done a great job with his teams. They’ve always been high-scoring, high-flying teams and with the talent they have on the this team, they got them playing that way tonight. He’s one of those great coaches of all time with the amount of wins he’s racked up.”

Up next

The Kings will face the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Monday and the Mavericks in Dallas on Tuesday.

The Suns play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday.