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Late cold spell dooms Suns in 99-92 loss to Kings

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After trading blows all night the Sacramento Kings finished off the Phoenix Suns with a 19-7 run to end the game.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings
The fourth quarter epitomized.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Self fulfilling prophecies.

They can be kind of tricky.

Going into the game I had a presentiment this might get ugly.

Not ugly in that the Suns would get embarrassed.

The Kings aren’t exactly fearsome.

Ugly in that both teams suck.

I wasn’t really digging the late game start... my own version of Phoenix East Coast bias.

But it turned out to be a very competitive game.

Notice that I used the word competitive - not good or entertaining.

So did I talk myself into not enjoying the game because Devin Booker wasn’t playing and the Kings aren’t exactly the Showtime Lakers?

Or did the game have some of the feel of a high school intramural match?

Because maybe the outcome just satisfied the narrative I already established for myself.

Or maybe it was one of those situations of a face that only a mother can love...

————-

It was Star Wars night in Sacramento, but it didn’t seem like there would be any star wars on the court.

I bet Kosta Koufos would be one hell of a Jedi.

I remember when the Suns used to do Star Wars night.

Eric Bledsolo shot first.

That was fun.

After a back and forth first quarter the Suns built a ten point lead (37-27) when Troy Daniels, Mike James, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender hit three pointers on four consecutive possessions.

The Kings fought all the way back, though, briefly retaking the lead before T.J. Warren hit a pull up jumper with two seconds left to give Phoenix a 51-49 halftime lead.

Warren led the Suns with 10 points at the half, while Tyson Chandler and Alex Len each chipped in five points and six rebounds.

The Kings had 33 bench points in the first half, led by 10 from reserve Willie Cauley-Stein.

Sacramento pulled out to an early third quarter lead, but Mike James took advantage of some extra playing time (Tyler Ulis left after a collision) by scoring 10 points in the third quarter to keep things close.

With seven minutes left in the fourth quarter Bender hit a three pointer to give the Suns an 85-80 lead.

The Kings retook the lead 86-85 (the 15th lead change of the game) on a layup by George Hill (team high 18 points). Buddy Hield nailed a three pointer moments later to put Sacramento up by four. Zach Randolph chipped in four more points to cap a 13-0 run by the Kings as the Suns went over five minutes without scoring a point.

Randolph had 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory for the Kings.

The Kings finished with 51 bench points and committed just nine turnovers.

T.J. Warren led the Suns with 18 points, but was just 9-24 from the field.

The Suns were 7-32 from three point range (21.9%) for the game and just 2-17 in the second half.

Player Notes

Josh Jackson (3-14 FG, 4 TO) has a great motor, but plays out of control quite a bit of the time and still has a mostly negative impact on the game.

Dragan Bender (eight points, seven rebounds) looked a little less tentative tonight, but could use just a fraction of Jackson’s fearlessness.

Despite getting his fair share of criticism this season, Mike James (17 points, five assists) has had stretches where he has looked like the Suns best player.

Alex Len (nine points, eight rebounds) has really rebounded the ball with a sense of purpose this season... but is still not that great at other basketball related skills.

Up Next

The Suns head home to face the Toronto Raptors (17-8) tomorrow night on a back-to-back. Toronto had won six straight before a 96-91 Monday night loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.