Baller Mind Frame

Tanking Hard or Hardly Tanking? The Sacramento Kings Beat the Phoenix Suns Handedly, 116-94

Image courtesy of Hugo-photography/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Hugo-photography/Flickr.

It seems as if being a Sacramento Kings fan has been very little to be thankful for this season.

In a frustratingly downhill five months of basketball, any highlights for Sacramento have come infrequently and inconsistently.

However, there has been one continual bright spot for Sacramento – the Phoenix Suns.

With the lone exception of one loss to Phoenix this season, the Sacramento Kings have played some outstanding basketball against this young team. Just on January 2nd, the Kings were able to torch the Suns for 142 points in a blowout home win.

So in the midst of a seven-game home losing streak, little playoff hope, and a coach who is playing established veterans over young talent the Suns were a site for sore eyes in Sacramento.

For just the second time this season, Sacramento’s best “perimeter defender” in Seth Curry (according to George Karl) got the start over an injured Ben McLemore. Now, for a team that desperately needs any signs of a formidable defense, this has been the fans biggest qualm with the stubborn head coach. Curry had a productive night in the role finishing with 12 points and four rebounds.

As no surprise to fans across the league, the Suns biggest player was 19-year-old rookie, Devin Booker. Immediately from the beginning of the game, Booker was seen hustling the entirety of the court and at one point shoved Sacramento’s 6’11” All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in a tangle up. In the fourth, Booker drilled a 30-foot three-pointer with ease and finished the night with a fearless 26 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Not to mention nine turnovers.

The Suns next highest contributors were Alex Len and Mirza Teletovic who scored 14 and 12 points respectively. It was a tough shooting night for the Suns as they finished the night just 37 percent from the field.

With back-to-back 30+ point quarters from Sacramento in the second and third, the lead was also secure enough to let the athletic hustle freak rookie Willie Cauley-Stein nearly 30 minutes of play time.

What do you know?

The rook can ball.

Cauley-Stein finished with a career-high 26 points, grabbed six rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. It was a dunk show to conclude the third quarter and head into the final stretch.

With the final games of the season coming up, it is time to let the young guys take the light. Once again, for some reason, James Anderson still had 13 minutes and was held scoreless from the floor.

With DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo providing stable output on a nightly basis, 29 points and 11 rebounds for Boogie and two points with 12 assists for Rondo, the Kings need to look forward to the future.

It has been a long season thus far and is slowly coming to an end. This Sunday, the Kings will take on the Dallas Mavericks.

For the Suns, they get on the road and head to the TD Garden to take on the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.

Suns

STARTERS MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
J. LeuerPF 16 3-7 1-2 0-0 1 3 4 0 0 0 1 4 +1 7
P.J. TuckerSF 27 2-4 0-1 0-0 1 7 8 1 1 0 1 2 -17 4
A. LenC 25 4-13 0-0 6-8 3 4 7 2 0 1 2 4 -3 14
J. JenkinsSG 29 4-10 3-3 0-0 3 5 8 2 0 0 3 0 -20 11
D. BookerSG 34 11-21 2-8 2-4 0 5 5 4 2 1 9 3 -16 26
BENCH MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
M. TeletovicPF 26 5-16 2-9 0-0 2 5 7 0 0 0 1 3 -17 12
C. BudingerSF 24 2-7 0-2 2-2 3 1 4 3 0 0 0 3 -8 6
A. WilliamsC 11 2-3 0-0 2-4 2 3 5 0 1 0 1 4 -12 6
R. PricePG 23 2-6 1-3 2-2 2 1 3 5 0 0 0 2 -14 7
A. GoodwinSG 23 0-7 0-4 1-3 1 5 6 3 0 0 4 2 -4 1
T. ChandlerC DNP-BACK SPASMS
B. KnightPG DNP-STOMACH VIRUS
TEAM 35-94 9-32 15-23 18 39 57 20 4 2 22 27 94
37.2% 28.1% 65.2%

Kings

STARTERS MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
R. GaySF 28 5-10 2-3 3-6 0 5 5 3 2 0 1 0 +22 15
Q. AcySF 19 4-9 2-5 4-4 0 7 7 0 0 2 1 4 +9 14
D. CousinsC 28 9-18 1-3 10-14 2 9 11 1 0 1 1 3 +16 29
R. RondoPG 30 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 12 2 1 1 4 +18 2
S. CurrySG 26 4-10 2-5 2-2 2 2 4 1 0 1 1 1 +10 12
BENCH MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
O. CasspiSF 30 1-7 0-1 5-6 2 6 8 5 0 0 2 2 +10 7
W. Cauley-SteinC 29 11-19 0-2 4-6 3 3 6 0 3 2 3 5 +7 26
D. CollisonPG 26 5-10 0-1 1-1 0 3 3 3 3 0 1 1 +11 11
M. BelinelliSG 10 0-3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 +6 0
J. AndersonSG 14 0-2 0-1 0-0 2 1 3 1 0 0 1 2 +1 0
C. ButlerSF DNP-COACH’S DECISION
K. KoufosC DNP-COACH’S DECISION
B. McLemoreSG DNP-COACH’S DECISION
TEAM 40-90 7-22 29-39 12 40 52 28 10 7 12 22 116
44.4% 31.8% 74.4%
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