The good news is this game, like the rest of the preseason, means nothing. Nothing at all. The bad news is the Phoenix Suns were outscored by 22 points in the second half by the Sacramento Kings en route to a 109-95 defeat.
If you are pushing the panic button, I recommend Valium, yoga, or some Zen breathing exercises.
The Suns trotted out a lineup of Nash, Richardson, Lopez, Turkoglu and Hill. The starting unit, along with Josh Childress, Hakim Warrick, and Dwayne Jones, jumped out to a an 11 point lead and appeared in total command of the game until the end of the quarter, as the Suns amassed 6 turnovers. Still, they held on to a 31-26 lead.
Nash and Hill would not return for the rest of the game. But Jason Richardson added 8 points and Robin Lopez 5 in the second to lead the Suns to a 58-51 halftime lead. Cold shooting, turnovers and fouls plagued the Suns in the third, as the Kings went on a 14-4 run and eventually tied the game up going into the fourth quarter.
To summarize things quickly and easily, the Suns sounded like they were tired in the final 12 minutes as Tyreke Evans scored 10 points during a 20-6 that put the Kings up for good.
To emphasize once again, this was a preseason game. Still, there were some areas of concern, if you want to get concerned over an early October contest:
Of course there were bright spots:
I won't insult anyone's intelligence here by jumping to any insane conclusions. This game was full of auditions (Dwayne Jones and Chucky Atkins playing 17 minutes); meanwhile, some needed inside help in the form of Garret Siler and Gani Lawal did not play at all. My master-of-the-obvious skills tell me there is a game in Vancouver tomorrow and, as we all know, this preseason is a grand experiment that will determine the regular season rotation (at the outset only, of course), and running minutes off the bodies of Steve Nash and 38 year old Grant Hill makes no sense at all.
It is a bit disturbing, though, to see our Phoenix Suns shoot 2-16 from beyond the arc and get crushed in rebounding differential, but as I noted above, I think we were dealing with some tired legs and lack of dirtworkers. Expect less JRich tomorrow, more of Canada's favorite son, old man Hill, and the beast of Lawal to be unveiled.
Rest soundly, Suns fans. We'll catch you here tomorrow.