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.
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.
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.
PHX #Suns Head Coach Jay Triano was obviously pleased with his team’s win on the road over the #Kings. He was particularly pleased with the play of forward TJ Warren who posted a double-double scoring 26 points & hauling in 10 rebounds. pic.twitter.com/eUoJjJ8DAA
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.