DeMarcus Cousins faces up against Jermaine O'Neal. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 6:00 pm PT

Where:  U.S. Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ.

Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet California, Radio – 1140 The Fan

For Suns perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network affiliate Valley of the Suns.

The book on Phoenix:  After losing a season-high seven-straight games, the Suns have won their last two.  Both wins came at home and were over the Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz, both teams with winning records.

Status Updates: Tyreke Evans is probable after soreness in his left knee limited him to just 10 minutes in yesterday’s loss to Denver.  Marcus Thornton is questionable and has missed the Kings’ last three games to tend to family matters.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (7-16)

PG: Aaron Brooks
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Phoenix Suns Probable Starters (9-15)

PG: Goran Dragic
SG: Shannon Brown
SF: Jared Dudley
PF: Luis Scola
C: Marcin Gortat

Stats and Rankings

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 94.6 (22nd out of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 98.5 (25th out of 30)
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 100.1 (28th out of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 106.2 (28th out of 30)
  • Pace: 94.69 (13th out of 30)

Suns

  • Points Per Game: 97.2 (13th out of 30)
  • Offensive Rating: 100.7 (18th out of 30)
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 100 (27th out of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 105.6 (26th out of 30)
  • Pace: 95.01 (9th out of 30)

Three questions to ponder

1.  Which team wins the points in the paint battle?

For two bad teams, the Kings and Suns actually rank among the best in the league when it comes to scoring at the rim.  Sacramento is ranked sixth, averaging 44.3 points in the paint per game.  Meanwhile, Phoenix is currently placed ninth, averaging 42.4 points in the paint per game.  With just a basket difference separating the two teams, the winner of this game may be determined by who scores the most points around the rim.

2. Can they Kings shoot better than 40 percent from the field?

Over the last week, Sacramento has once again lost their way on offense.  In their current four-game losing streak, the Kings have averaged an atrocious 39.9 percent from the field.  Their appalling shooting numbers were capped off by a season-low 34.1 percent from the field in yesterday’s clobbering at the hands of the Nuggets.  Phoenix has never been a defensive juggernaut and even though they’re playing on the road, tonight’s contest against the Suns might just be what the Kings’ offense needs to get them off the snide.

3. Will the Kings decide to spread the wealth tonight?

We just discussed their poor shooting numbers in the previous question and a large reason for that has been their unwillingness to share the basketball.  Looking once again at their current four-game losing streak, the Kings have averaged just 16.8 assists per game.  Yesterday, they recorded just 13 assists, which matched a season-low for a third time this season.  When the Kings move the ball, they look like a respectable NBA franchise.  But when they don’t play together, they look like a haphazardly constructed pick-up team you find at your local rec center.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.