Am I the last person on the planet to figure out what HAM means? Thanks, Urbandictionary.com
Perhaps its appropriate to say "DeMarcus Cousins went H.A.M. last night, but one man a victory doesn't make." The big man went for 41, but a balanced effort from the Suns outclassed the Kings. If you missed the game, here are some of the highlights. I guess it's pretty obvious that Steve Nash's back is "as bad as its ever been," right Pete?
The Sacramento Kings might be as dangerous as a 19-win ball club can be.
And when DeMarcus Cousins started drop-stepping and spinning off the helpless Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez, it looked like a...
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Lights out for the Sacramento Kings (19-35) ... quite literally. Not two minutes into the game tonight a circuit of the arena lights flickered out and caused a brief stop in play as both coaches were consulted by the officials. The delay did not last more than a few moments but it was a literal foreshadowing of the outcome of this game as the Phoenix Suns (27-26) again sprung above .500 and came out the victors of this battle royal --- - ----.
The Suns came out very strong and focused defensively to at one point take a 17-point lead. But as the time remaining in the game digressed so did the focus of the Suns and the Kings ended the 1st half on a run to bring the lead down just eight points. The momentum for the Kings carried into the third and by the start of the 4th quarter the Kings had stormed back behind 39 points from DeMarcus Cousins, 25 from Isaiah Thomas and 16 from newly acquired Terrence Williams off the bench to take a one-point lead over the Suns after Chuck Hayes sunk two free throws.
But it would be the hot hand of Michael Redd who contributed with 16 of his own timely points off the bench and the will of Steve Nash (18-12) in the 4th quarter that would propel the Suns to regain and extend the lead to 12 at one point as the Suns hold on and turn the lights off on the Kings.
The Suns picked up a half game on the Jazz and the Rockets - that much closer to a playoff spot!
More after the jump!
When all is said and done the Suns just did what they needed to do. They beat a team they were supposed to beat. It was not the prettiest game but it was a good sign as the Suns notch this W in the first game of their road swing.
Very sloppy first quarter - but the Suns are doing a good job taking away Evans' drive - smothered at the rim by Frye and Gortat.
DeMarcus Cousins hitting very pretty looking outside shots and muscling his way past Gortat in the paint - very good start for Cousins. He usually has good games against the Suns though ...
Very good showing on the boards by the Suns in the first quarter ... but then I look at the stats and they're about even with the Kings ...
Giving credit to Scott Williams - he pointed out in the first that Jared Dudley really has become a play-maker this year - I thought with all the offseason talk he would come back with just the dribble drive he talked so much about working on, but really he has improved a little something in every part of his game which has allowed him to create more whether its off a head fake or making moves in the paint. Any stress we can take off of Steve in the play-making department is welcome with open arms and Dudley and Brown are providing that. That's a good sign.
Terrence Williams was a great pick-up by the Kings ... he's playing with heart here as things are getting out of hand for the Kings
Fredette shooting ... and shooting. Well, Eddie Johnson would be proud - as a shooter you've got to continue to shoot and have a shooting mentality otherwise you will lose confidence, we've seen it happen to Frye MANY times. For whatever reason purple and orange is Jimmer's Kryptonite.
Hail to the Kieff! Markieff Morris getting his first burn back after battling a nasty flu-bug that dropped him 13 pounds.
Nice little 12-0 run by the Kings in the middle of the 2nd quarter - lack of Suns defensive concentration and lazy offense the culprit. Meanwhile Cousins, Thomas and Evans taking full advantage and gaining some rhythm. What could be a 20+ point lead by the Suns turns out to only be 9 at the half.
3rd Quarter... Disgusting. Total lack of defensive focus and where the Suns were doing so well in somewhat keeping the Kings off the offensive glass - they fail hard in the third and lose the quarter by 7 points and now only lead by 1 point going into the 4th. At least they didn't head to the 4th down, because the Kings are 10-0 this year going into the 4th quarter with a lead.
Have to wonder... if the Kings had been shooting a better percentage from the FT-line - this game would be much different. And not in a good way for the Suns.
Isaiah Thomas is playing out of his mind tonight. Kings take the lead by one on free throws by Chuck Hayes. Their first lead since it was 10-9 in the 1st.
Much better defense starting this 4th quarter from out second Unit - plus Michael Redd taking over offensively! He's ON FIRE. Video-game-mode.
Sebastian Telfair not having a very good game at all. You can see it in his body language as of late - he's not all there focus-wise, he's got to right the ship because we need him in this stretch run.
Robin Lopez and Channing Frye getting under the skin of Cousins' - they bate him in to committing and offensive foul (should have been a tech) as he demonstratively shoved Channing in the back.
Starters return to the court with 6 minutes to go. And Nash goes all bloody murder with a dead-eye 3 to extend the lead to 7 then a 1-footed supernashty leaner to extend it to 9. This is as fired up as I've seen Nash in a while (with intensity) - with good reason too, this is a very frustrating game because the Suns could have easily defeated this Kings team had they maintained their focus from the first quarter.
PHEW - the Suns hit 100 before the Kings. 101-91 Suns. Lawler's law will prevail.
And that's the game - an all around team effort for the victory, 2-0 we are.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Demarcus Cousins is the oldest young big I've ever seen. Although he's producing and growing, he moves like he's going to collapse. #geritol