Photo credit: @NBA
By: Ana Kieu
PHOENIX — The Sacramento Kings dropped a 117-115 decision to the Phoenix Suns at the Talking Stick Resort Arena Monday night.
The Suns fired their head coach Earl Watson after the team’s 0-3 start so far this season. Watson left the position with a 33-85 record. Shortly after, they promoted Jay Triano as an interim head coach.
The Kings, on the other hand, got blown out by the Denver Nuggets 96-79 last Saturday. So they were obviously hungry for a win.
The Suns were off to a fast start in the first quarter. They were also on fire from the three-point line. They led the Kings 36-17 after the first. Marquese Chrisse had 10 points and two rebounds.
The Kings had a rough first half. The Suns continued to bring their offense as Alex Len’s dunk was nice, but the pass from Tyler Ulis was even better. After a Kings delay of violation, TJ Warren blocked George Hill’s five-foot driving layup and then Bogdan Bogdanovic missed a 22-foot jumper.
The Kings mounted a large comeback with 34 points in the second quarter, but trailed the Suns 59-51 at the end of the first half. Despite missing an extended jumper, Bogdanovic had 13 points in 12 minutes in the second.
Troy Daniels’ three-pointer put the Suns up by nine with 3:36 left in the third quarter. Skal Labisserie made a dunk with 1:09 left in the third. However, Labisserie missed a shot as the clock winded down and the Suns held a 87-76 lead over the Kings after the third.
The Suns reached the 100-point mark when Dragan Bender made the first of two free throws with 6:35 left in the fourth quarter. Bender did end up making both free throws after Tyson Chandler entered the game to take Len’s place.
Not much luck for the Kings as Willie Cauley-Stein drew a shooting foul with 6:13 left in the third. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel as soon as Garrett Temple made a 26-foot three-pointer to pull the Kings within 10 with 5:54 left. Labisserie then entered the game for Kosta Koufos, which prompted the Suns to take a timeout.
The score reverted back to single digits (102-94) after Bogdanovic found Cauley-Stein for the dunk with 5:17 remaining. The Kings were behind the Suns until De’Aaron Fox made an eight-foot driving floating jump shot, tying the game at 112 apiece with 58 seconds left in regulation.
Though, a shot by Mike Jones put the Suns ahead 114-112 with only 14 seconds left to go. Both teams called timeouts and Devin Booker made two free throws to extend the Suns’ lead to 116-113. Yet, the Kings weren’t ready to back down as Hill responded with two of his own.
Troy Daniels added a down-to-the-wire free throw to expand the Suns’ lead to 117-115. The Suns held on for their first win of the season, a 117-115 victory, and handed the Kings their second straight loss.
Bogdan Bogdanovic made his debut with the Kings.
Here’s a throwback from the Kings’ last game against the Suns in Phoenix. Skal Labissiere dropped a career-high and game-high 32 points that day.
The Kings return to action Thursday night as they host the New Orleans Pelicans at Golden 1 Center at 7:30 p.m. PST.