The Phoenix Suns fall to the Sacramento Kings 120-105. Sigh.
There were no bright spots in the Suns’ loss to the Kings Friday night, as the Kings pilled on the points shooting 53% from the field. The ball didn’t stop moving for the Kings as they tallied a total of 31 assists and scored 21 points in transition after forcing 15 turnovers.
Technical fouls were handed out to Frank Vogel, Kevin Durant, and Devin Booker in the second quarter as their frustration started to boil over. This was only a taste of how the Suns self-destructed, giving the Kings even more fuel at times to extend their largest lead of the game to 29.
Behind the combined 51 points from Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox, the Kings made the Suns look silly all game long. A game that looked like an end to an era, leaving us all speechless.
This was once a championship caliber team, but from the looks of things, the Suns may not even be a playoff team.
The Kings kicked things off by going straight to the paint and feeding Sabonis. After three straight dunks by Sabonis to start the game, Drew Eubanks, who was tonight’s starter at center with Jusuf Nurkic out, already had two fouls in the first three minutes of the game. Vogel then called upon Udoka Azubuike to take over for Eubanks. Udoka with only a little over eight minutes played this season, came in and held his own against Sabonis.
Udoka had a quick five points to go along with a block in is first stint off the bench. He brought the aggression that the Suns needed in the middle, but Fox was able to knock down a couple of threes to keep the Kings’ shooting pace smooth and free. The Kings knocked wide open threes at a fast rate, starting 4-8 from behind the stripe, pushing their lead to nine in the early going.
With four early turnovers in the first, the Kings capitalized on seven easy points in transition. The only thing keeping the Suns in the game heading into the second quarter were their free throws. The Suns shot 13-15 (Durant 7-7) from the free-throw line in the first, trailing the Kings 35-30 entering the second quarter.
Vogel went to another face we haven’t seen much of this season, and that was Saben Lee. Lee was in to help contain Fox and provide a little bit of point-guard play. Lee did have a nice set-up to Metu for a dunk, but nothing else really came from his minutes. There really isn’t a player that can contain Fox in the NBA, and the Suns had to deal with Fox getting whatever he wanted, putting up 16 points at the nine-minutes mark in the second quarter.
Fox was just the start of the Suns problems, as the Kings continued to give Eubanks problems in the paint. And after this Dunk from Malik Monk, Eubanks found himself on the bench again.
The Kings held a 10-point lead for the majority of the second quarter. Anytime the Suns made a little bit of a run, they would shoot themselves in the foot by missing lay-ups or wide open threes. Halfway through he second quarter the Suns shot 1-7 from three.
Nassir Little continued to attack the rim, not settling for the three. Like teammate Metu, the pump fake had the Kings defenders flying by and the lane was a little more open. Along with Jordan Goodwin and Grayson Allen, the Suns put pressure on the Kings by getting to the rim, but finishing was the hard part.
The Suns seemed close in putting together a few runs in the second, but failed to defend when it mattered to put together anything more than a four or five point run. The Kings held a 65-54 lead over the Suns entering half-time. With the Suns bench outscoring the Kings bench 20-11 in the first half, it was the starters that had to step up. Erik Gordon who got the nod to start Friday night, ended the half with 0 points on 0-2 shooting.
Any hope of the Suns getting out to a fast start and closing in on the Kings lead was quickly dismissed with the Kings jumping out a to a 74-54 lead within the first few minutes of the third quarter.
Kings get a Sabonis layup, Huerter lob, Sabonis dunk and open Murray 3 to open the second half.— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) December 23, 2023
Suns down 20.
Continuing to miss right next to the rim and letting the Kings get out on the break. The Suns had no answers and the game looked about over.
Kevin Huerter was all smiles after he downs the alley-oop SLAM pic.twitter.com/2EV0zsPhhV— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) December 23, 2023
The Kings’ lead reached as high as 29 points in the third quarter, but there was a little sign of life in the Suns bench at the end of the third quarter. Cutting the lead to 19 to end the third, the Suns pulled off a little run. But the failed attempts from three continued to haunt the Suns, in what could have been about a 14-point lead by the Kings if some of the threes would fall.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Suns trailed 103-84 and shot 4-15 from behind the line.
It was a broken team that we watched Friday night, and in the fourth quarter, The Kings finished the Suns off 120-105.
All we want for Christmas is a Suns win. Will Santa deliver this against the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas night?