20121217_kkt_as8_224

When I asked my friend how the game turned so quickly from a 19-point deficit in the middle of the second quarter to a 6-point lead in the middle of the third, he said, "The Kings came back."

Yes, Suns fans. The Kings came back retake the deficit early in the third and never looked back. The Suns grabbed their SIXTH home rally to win from a double-digit deficit this season vs. five losses from double-digit deficits and only two clean wins.

Give credit to:

  • Marcin Gortat, who fought amongst the trees for 14 points, 13 rebounds and 6 blocks
  • Luis Scola who set a career high in assists (10)
  • Shannon Brown who made 6 straight shots and scored 14 in the third when the Suns took control
  • Jared Dudley who scored 22 points, including a few dagger threes to give the Suns breathing room

The Kings were without Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton and, basically, DeMarcus Cousins. The first two were out with injury and personal reasons while Cousins was on the court but never showed up. He only played a few first-half minutes before collecting his third foul, then only 1:10 of the third before collecting his fourth.

The Suns, meanwhile, forgot what time the game started and only realized halfway through the second quarter that this scrimmage actually COUNTS in the standings.

Finally, behind the efforts of Jared Dudley they woke up and started to play NBA basketball. The Suns went on a 26-6 run across two quarters to retake the lead for good. The Kings never led again.

Enjoy the Suns third win in a row for the first time this season. They held the Kings to 41% shooting and 90 points - yet another quality result on the defensive side of the ball.

Yet for those who actually watched the game, the Suns defensive effort often had more to do with the Kings ineptitude than the Suns prowess. To be fair though, the Suns did play strong defense in spurts and did end up with the win thanks in large part to holding the Kings to just 90 points.

More analysis in the morning, with quotes, notes and videos.

Tell then, enjoy the win!


Final - 12.17.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Sacramento Kings 22 32 14 22 90
Phoenix Suns 16 27 31 27 101

Complete Coverage >


For more, visit Sactown Royalty.

Phoenix Suns 101, Sacramento Kings 90 PHOENIX — For the first time this season, the Phoenix Suns learned how to make life easy on themselves. As a trend so far this year, they’d find...

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Kendall Marshall, second-best point guard in the 2012 NBA Draft. Lottery pick. North Carolina star and prolific tweeter (at least he used to be).

That's what he is. The big question is if he will ever be an NBA player and right now that answer is leaning towards, NO.

Through seven games in the D-league, here's Marshall's stats:

- 32mpg for a total of 225 minutes of burn

- Shooting .329 percent from the field. He's made just 26 of 79 shots!

- Shooting .167 from three! He's made just 3 of 18 attempts!!

- 7.1 assists per game is a solid D-league number (we knew he could pass)

- 3.29 turnovers per game isn't horrible considering how much he likely has the ball in his hands and

- His rebounding and steals numbers certainly don't jump off the page: 1.29 SPG / 3.4 RPG

Basically, Marshall right now is exactly what we feared he be coming out of a college and exactly what he was in summer league. He has great passing skill and sub-par everything else and that's never going to be good enough for the NBA.

I'm far more patient than most when it comes to young players (and most things sports-related) but this kid hasn't shown me any reason to think he'll be in the NBA three years from now.

Here's a few words from Gino from Ridiculous Upside where watching the D-league is their passion.

"I've kept tabs on (Marshall), not a ton of live viewing, but seems like he is more focused on distributing the ball, which he is improving on, his turnovers have been a little bit of an issue though. From a scoring standpoint he hasn't impressed me, but I like his ability to look for others and getting them involved. Shooting wise, his percentages havent been spectacular either. I'd say he needs to show me more on the scoring end. Body language isnt the greatest either."

And here's more from Ryan from Ridiculous Upside:

He's actually distributing the ball pretty well, but is not taking quality shots. His 33% from the floor is indicative of that.

He's forcing things a bit too much and not taking advantage of what the defense is offering. Bad decision making...and his turnovers have gone up...

He has quality players around him (Renaldo Major, Damon James and Brian Butch) yet he's not really in sync with them... They should be killing it with pick and pops and the iso option should be open since Butch is a big man who can hit the three, but these things really aren't happening.

Some players just struggle with a D-league assignment. JaJuan Johnson is a good example of this.

JaJuan Johnson isn't a lottery pick and neither is Tony Wroten (25th pick, 2012). Tony is putting up 13 ppg, 3.3 apg and shooting 37% (43.8% from three) in 23 mpg in six games in Reno.

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This week began on a low point with the Phoenix Suns losing their 7th game in a row against the Orlando Magic. But just when things were looking their bleakest, the Suns turned it all around with their most impressive win of the season agianst one of the top teams in the conference on Wednesday, the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Suns were able to win that game by relying more on the defensive side of the ball than we've seen in the past...Holding the Grizzlies to just 80 points and tying their lowest points scored so far this season. Surely this was a fluke, right? Well if it was, the Suns fluked twice as they back-doored that performance with another impressive defensive victory against the Jazz whom they beat by 15 points and held to just 84 points...tying their 2nd lowest points scored so far this season as well.

So who do we have to thank for this remarkable turnaround?

1. Jared Dudley

Weekly Average: 17 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds in 41 minutes of play; +14

Since being moved to the starting small forward position, Jared Dudley has re-emerged as the "Junk Yard Dog" that earned him a reputation as one of the scrappiest players in the league, and made him a fan favorite. Dudley carried the weight of the team on his shoulders this week with his inspired play and energy on both ends of the court, JD was the biggest difference maker for the Suns in the last two wins, hands down.

2. Goran Dragic

Weekly Average: 14.5 points, 6.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals in 34 minutes of play; +10

Dragic didn't play against the Magic last Sunday due to an illness he had been fighting for several days prior. Many had questioned what was wrong with Goran who simply wasn't playing like himself. Well, at least we know there was a reason. Once Dragic came back healthy he showed the same aggressive, fast-paced play that he had displayed in the beginning of the season, and helped lead the Suns team to both of their victories this week.

3. Marcin Gortat

Weekly Average: 11 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 blocks in 33 minutes of play; +5

Gortat had been in a slump over the past few weeks. While we still aren't quite sure what the cause of it was, it appears that the Polish Machine picked himself up by the boot straps and got back to work this week...Getting a little better with each game. Marcin seems to be the type of player who is easily affected by the circumstances surrounding him, and a couple of bad plays can easily snowball into a couple of bad games. But Gortat got back to form this week when the Suns needed him most, playing excellent defense and securing rebounds to help the Suns get these much needed wins.

4. P.J. Tucker

Weekly Average: 5 points, 5 rebounds in 12.5 minutes of play; +1.5

Tucker's stats certainly don't seem very impressive upon first glance...and he also missed the Magic Game last Sunday along with Dragic. However, Tucker's defense was huge for the Suns in both of their wins. His game is full of intangibles that simply don't show up on the stat sheet...but his impact couldn't be more apparent.

5. Jermaine O'Neal

Weekly Average: 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 Blocks in 15 minutes of play; +5

O'Neal found a way to make a positive impact once again this week. Jermaine has become a very consistent player for the Suns off the bench. He gives the Suns additional size in the post and almost always plays excellent defense. This week was no exception, and the Suns probably wouldn't have been able to win these past two games without him.

6, Markieff Morris

Weekly Average: 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block in 26 minutes of play; +8

Markieff had a pretty solid week overall. He has bounced around--both in and out of the starting line-up as head coach Alvin Gentry continues to look for the right fit. However, he has taken each change in stride and continued to play through it. Morris provided the Suns with efficient play on both ends of the court this week and helped the team.

7. Shannon Brown

Weekly Average: 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in 37 minutes of play; +3

Brown actually didn't have a great week, despite his misleading stats. Although he averaged 13 points per game, he shot only 13-40 from the field at 32%, and took his fair share of bad shots in the process. He is not a very good defender, and is also at fault for a lot of the stagnation that happens on offense when there is too much dribbling and not enough passing. However, Brown can also be an explosive game changer for the Suns when he is in his groove, and he did help give life to the struggling Suns offense at times...so he wasn't all bad.

8, Sebastian Telfair

Weekly Average: 5 points, 4 assists, and 1 steal in 21 minutes of play; +4

Bassy had an average week all things considered. He got his first start of the season against the Magic when Dragic was sick, and although he only scored 6 points on 1-7 shooting from the field, he did have 8 assists to help make up for it. However, Telfair is just a better player off the bench in limited minutes. He provides defense and energy to the second unit and he certainly did his part this week.

9. Michael Beasley

Weekly Average: 6 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 block in 15 minutes of play; -5

Beasley was still a negative for the Suns this week, but he did seem to play slightly better as a power forward off the bench than he did at the three. Beasley was still a liability on defense, but he did make some nice plays to help set up his teammates at times and also gave the Suns some quality minutes in the first quarter against the Jazz. Beasley didn't have a good week by any means, but I did notice small improvements overall.

10. Luis Scola

Weekly Average: 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist in 14 minutes of play; -9

Scola just didn't play well this week at all. He shot only 8-23 from the field for 35% and simply wasn't able to contribute much in the way of rebounding or defense either. Hopefully this is just a bump in the road for Scola, as he is usually a much better player than we saw this week.

So there you have it...Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!

Suns fans, it is time to take a long, deep breath. This advice is not recommended to avoid the smell of Phoenix’s record through 24 games. Take a deep breath and be patient. Now is not the time for...

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