The Suns started with a balanced attack, while the Kings went with a heavy diet of Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. All five Suns in the starting lineup made solid contributions on offense, but sluggish transition defense was the culprit in conceding a lead to the Kings after a quick start. In all, Sacramento managed 8 layups in the first quarter. Eight. Four threes by the Suns fomented their own offense as the quarter remained close. Kings 32, Suns 30.
The Suns kicked off the second quarter on an 11-2 run with four players scoring and a ferocious dunk by Jared Dudley, who has fresh legs due to his playing time being severely truncated since the youth movement has largely banished him to the bench. After the Suns took a 45-38 lead on a pair of Luis Scola free throws, the Kings flipped the script and went on their own 13-3 run to go up 51-48. Isaiah Thomas hit three three-pointers in less than two minutes to fuel the surge. The Suns then countered the deluge with more offense of their own to keep the game tight going into the half. Kings 59, Suns 57.
I would say the first half was defense optional, but I think both teams were actually directed not to play any. Either way it was a torrid pace with plenty of points. Cousins led the way for Sacramento with 18 points and seven rebounds. Thomas and Evans were also in double figures with 13 and 10, respectively. 38 points in the paint and 14 fast break points helped the Kings shoot 54.5% halfway through. As aforementioned, the Suns countered with a variegated attack with three players (Scola, Goran Dragic and Wesley Johnson) scoring 10 points. Dragic also dropped eight dimes to lead all players.
The game bogged down for the first half of the third quarter as the offensive amnesty from the first half seemed to expire. Either that or both of these teams are just really bad and can't even score consistently on defensive sieves. You be the judge. Dragic sustained a strong first half, including a fake timeout play that caught the Kings with their pants down and resulted in an easy layup, and finished the quarter with 14 points and 10 assists. Thomas also built on a solid first half with 11 points in the third, 24 in the game, as the often atrabilious and immature Cousins sat with foul trouble. Kings 89, Suns 82.
After allowing the Kings to build a 98-87 lead, prompting sighs from Suns fans, the Suns fought back with eight straight points to claw back in. The Kings again went ahead by 11 at 116-105 behind a barrage of three point bombs, but the Suns answered again to keep the game interesting right down to the wire. Then came the usual result of the season as the Suns failed to execute down the stretch when given an opportunity and allowed the Kings to seal the game with free throws after a scrum for the ball with 16 seconds left went in the Kings favor. I guess they wanted it more. You can have it. I want ping pong balls anyway.
Final Score: Kings 121, Suns 112
Player of the Game:
Cousins, Evans, Thomas and Thornton. Hard to pick from these four. Cousins had 22 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists on 9-13 shooting. Evans had 25 points and 5 assists on 9-12 shooting. Thomas had 27 points, 6 assists and 5 steals on 8-13 shooting. Thornton had 23 points on 9-13 shooting, including several big threes in clutch time.
Big ups to Goran Dragic in the loss. 17 points, 16 assists and 5 steals is outstanding... and could have been good for player of the game had the Suns actually won.
Comments of the Game:
God is weeping with us (in response to Jazz loss)
KJ's on the Suns' broadcast, that's pretty cool actually
I think we should hijack the Lakers/Raptors thread.
It would be in the Raptors' best interest to win tonight...
Is it just me...
Or does Beasley's hair look slightly less ridiculous tonight
How do you lose best?
By scoring lots, keeping it relatively close, and playing no D. From the Book Of Tanking, By Gregg Popovich.
This place is called Sleep Train Arena
Seems appropriate. As does our going-out-of-business airlines arena.
Whew -- I was afraid we were thinking about winning this one
then Beas clanked a long two and righted the ship...
Such horrendous defense
Come on, Toronto...
How can you only be up 8?
If you give up 120 points, it's pretty much impossible to win.
The Suns could have come out listless and pouting with the recent attrition of size, but instead came out with hustle to combat the Kings muscle. We've seen quite a few ugly, low scoring games this season. An ugly, high-scoring game was a nice change of pace.
We knew the Suns faced an uphill battle in the paint, but Cousins abused them in the first half and the Kings reeled off 38 points in the paint. Luckily for the Suns Cousins intelligently took himself out of the game for stretches with
mental lapses foul trouble.
It looked like both teams signed a truce before the game to allow a cavalcade of easy buckets. Trust me, it wasn't a case of great offense beating great defense. It was more like mediocre, fast-paced offense torching pathetic, atrocious defense.
The site. Hard to enjoy the game thread when it keeps freezing and lagging. Fix the problems, guys.
When you're a really bad team (see Suns, Phoenix) you really don't want to win poorly played games like this. Losing is probably the best bet at this point. Maybe if the Suns pick high enough they can draft somebody who actually knows how to play defense...