Behind an emphatic effort from Jon Leuer, the Phoenix Suns rallied from 16-points down in the second half to blow past the Sacramento Kings and take the game, 102-98.
“It was a sloppy game, exhibition. We should have won the game, but it will be helpful for us in video and practice moving forward,” reflected head coach, George Karl.
Rudy Gay led the Kings with an immediate hot start. Scoring 30 points, Gay shot 10-13 from the field and finished 7-8 from behind the three-point line. After Gay’s hot start, he was rested and did not play in the second half.
Turnovers were reoccurring a theme for Sacramento, giving the ball up 21 times on the evening Five of which came from Darren Collison and four from Omri Casspi. “Some of it was not knowing each other, some of it as trying to force things,” commented Karl.
The Suns defense contained the second unit for the Kings, holding them to 19 fourth-quarter points. T.J. Warren was an unsung hero for the Suns as he quietly collected 17 points in 26 minutes off court time.
Rookie, Willie Cauley-Stein, started in place of the resting, Kosta Koufos. Cauley-Stein showed flashes of his potential finishing with 8 points, 7 boards, and 3 blocks. Stein had a presence that was felt immediately on the court, without interfering with DeMarcus Cousins and his 15 points, Willie rigorously rebounded and defended the entire night.