Game 64 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns
Gametime: 7:00 pm PT
Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.
Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet California, Radio – CBS Sports 1140
For Suns perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate Valley of the Suns.
The book on the Suns: Phoenix is coming off a 27-point defeat at the hands of the Toronto Raptors. In the first quarter of that game, they lost Marcin Gortat to a foot injury, which has sidelined the Suns starting center for the next month. The Suns have played better basketball since Lindsey Hunter took over head coaching responsibilities. In 20 games with Hunter at the helm, the Suns have gone 8-12.
Did you know? The Kings have found their offense following the All-Star break. Sacramento is averaging 108.4 points per game in their last nine contests. In contrast, they scored just 96.8 points per game before All-Star Weekend.
Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (21-42)
Phoenix Suns Probable Starters (21-40)
- Points Per Game: 98.5
- Offensive Rating: 104.8
- Opponents Points Per Game: 104.9
- Defensive Rating: 111.6
- Pace: 93.1
- Points Per Game: 94.2
- Offensive Rating: 100.8
- Opponents Points Per Game: 99.7
- Defensive Rating: 106.7
- Pace: 92.6
Three questions to ponder
1. Will DeMarcus Cousins emerge from his offensive slump?
Offensively speaking, Cousins has not been a factor in the Kings’ last two games. The Kings starting center has gone just a combined 3-of-22 from the field in his previous two outings. If there was ever a game for Cousins to snap out of his funk, this would be it. The Phoenix Suns announced yesterday that Marcin Gortat would be out for at least three to four weeks with a sprained foot. They are also without veteran big man Jermaine O’Neal, who is out indefinitely tending to personal issues.
2. Will teammates find Jason Thompson in the post?
Cousins may be struggling to find his scoring touch, but Thompson hasn’t. The Kings starting power forward has gone a combined 23-of-32 and averaged close to 18 points per contest over his last three outings. These are not jump shots that Thompson is hitting either. More than 20 of his attempts have come at the rim according to NBA.com.
3. How will Isaiah Thomas respond after a quiet night in Golden State?
The Kings starting point guard was limited to just 20 minutes in Wednesday’s loss against the Warriors. Keith Smart opted to run with newcomer Toney Douglas, whose length and size was able to bother Stephen Curry into an off night. Outside of the loss two evenings ago, Thomas has seemingly taken control of this team since coming out of the All-Star break. In his last nine games, Thomas has averaged 16 points and five assists per contest while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from 3-point range.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.