The Phoenix Suns really don't know how to beat the Sacramento Kings. They didn't help themselves by looking tired and disinterested all game until a fourth quarter 10-0 run pulled the deficit to only two points. After that, the game was in the balance until the final seconds.
But the Kings scored enough, and stopped the Suns enough, to close out the game.
After a series of terrible plays by both teams, Quincy Acy of all people iced the game with a pair of free throws.
Devin Booker had 22 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds. Mirza Teletovic scored 26 - his third straight 22+ point game (and 5th in 6 outings). Alex Len had 16 points and 12 rebounds against a really tall. active Kings front line. P.J. Tucker had another double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds.
Seth Curry of the Kings - and former Suns player - had 20 points and 15 assists for the game in what can only be considered a REVENGE GAME. The 15 assists were TEN more than his previous career high. He was filling in for Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison.
Before the game
Before the game, the PBWA (Paul Coro) presented P.J. Tucker with the inaugural Steve Nash Award for Media Relations, and then gave Tucker the annual Dan Majerle Hustle Award - his fourth in four seasons.
Tyson Chandler (concussion protocol) and Archie Goodwin (ankle) sat out the game, leaving the Suns even more short-handed than usual.
The Kings, not to be outdone, sat DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison. They didn't even take the team plane.
I love this game.
I've never seen the show 'Walking Dead' but I imagine if you put Suns and Kings jerseys on them they might look like what I saw in the first quarter. Both teams were having serious trouble exhibiting energy, seemingly more interested in swiping at the ball and bumping each other off their driving lane than getting into position.
And this was the Suns on offense.
The loudest cheer in the first quarter was for the Golden Grannies.
The Kings kinda pulled away for a bit when Alex Len and company couldn't finish at the rim or on jumpers, while former 10-day callup Seth Curry began his revenge game with 4 points and 4 assists in the first five minutes of the game.
The Kings, despite missing most of their starters, took a strong lead all first half behind contributions from every player in the lineup. Big man Willie Cauley-Stein was particularly active, as was Kosta Koufos.
Devin Booker got four fouls in the first half and missed four of five shots. Not his best game.
When that happens, does anything else matter?
The Suns were down 56-49 at half time. Mirza Teletovic was the only Suns player at his usual level of intensity. Mirza had 16 points at the half on 6-for-13 shooting.
To open the second half, WCS missed a layup and the Suns committed a three-second lane violation waiting too long to get the ball to Len in the post.
That's how the second half looked like it was going to go.
By early in the second half, Seth Curry had doubled his career high in assists by dishing 10 of them against 10 points of his own. There were still 20 game minutes left.
I'm not quite sure why I'm even still taking notes. Maybe just to kill time till the final buzzer?
I guess I can track the Seth Curry revenge game progress...
With 2:11 left in the third, Curry had 18 points and 12 assists. SETH Curry.
Before the third quarter ended, Seth added another beautiful assist on the break. Of course.
In the fourth quarter, the Suns decided to play their deep bench while the Kings decided it was real important to win the game.
But then the Kings stopped playing and the Suns started. Devin Booker put in 18 second half points and PJ. Tucker did P.J. Tucker things and Mirza Teletovic hounded a King or two on the perimeter.
And suddenly it was a 2-point game.