CK Press Box Report: Suns 98, Kings 84

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham

A flat, lethargic performance from the Sacramento Kings Saturday night, who lost to the Phoenix Suns 98-84 at Power Balance Pavilion.

“I just thought we ran against a good team,” said head coach Keith Smart postgame. “Guys who know how  and understood how to take it.  They took us completely out of the offense…”

Foul trouble hurt the Kings early in the game.  Going into the second quarter, every starter except Kings guard Tyreke Evans had picked up three personals.  No one fouled out, but DeMarcus Cousins and Marcus Thornton led the team with four and five fouls, respectively.

Evans struggled in the loss, making only one basket and scoring just four points on nine attempts.  Fellow starters John Salmons and Jason Thompson were also out of sorts tonight.  Salmons attempted only four shots, made two, while Thompson was limited to two points on one-of-six shooting in 18 minutes.

Four players reached double figures for the Suns.  Channing Frye finished with 17, Marcin Gortat had 15, Markieff Morris scored 18 off the bench and Jared Dudley led the way with 20.  Two-time MVP Steve Nash had only four points, but dished out 15 assists – the most the Kings have allowed an opposing player this year.


Notes and Analysis

  • Suns forward Grant Hill had a lot to do with Tyreke Evans four-point performance tonight. The 39-year-old veteran was assigned to Evans on defense.
  • DeMarcus Cousins barely missed another double-double, finishing the game with 26 points and nine rebounds.
  • Jason Thompson had an off-evening on offense and faired just as poorly on the defensive end.  He left Channing Frye open on the perimeter multiple times.  The Suns big man shot 50-percent from the field on 6-for-12 shooting and made 3-of-5 three-pointers.
  • Markieff Morris was equally effective tonight against the Kings bigs.  The rookie forward scored his 18 points in just 26 minutes, while also grabbing six boards.
  • Jared Dudley led the Suns in both scoring with 20 and rebounding with 10. Dudley scored in a variety of ways and provided a lot of energy for his team.
  • Jimmer Fredette scored two points and dished out two assists, but went 0-for-4 from the field and turned the ball over twice in his 14 minutes of action.
  • Playing 19 minutes tonight, Isaiah Thomas was also ineffective.  Thomas shot only 2-for-9 from the field, but grabbed six rebounds for the Kings.
  • For the second game in a row, the Kings opponent set a new season-high in blocked shots.  Thursday night the Thunder had 17 blocks.  Tonight, the Suns swatted 11 against the Kings.
  • The Kings never led in this game.  That has happened only two other times this season (Feb 7th at Minnesota and Jan 14th at Dallas)
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings shot 38 percent from three-point range, but just 35 percent from the field.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.