December 13, 2017, 12:51 am
A 13-0 run down the stretch for the Kings all but sealed the 99-92 victory over the Suns on Tuesday night.
It wasn’t pretty by any means, but at the end of the day, there was a W next to Sacramento’s name. The Kings shot just 42 percent from the field, but the Suns were limited to just 41 percent of their own. Both teams knocked down seven 3-pointers, but the Kings did it on 10 less tries (SAC 7-of-22, PHX 7-of-32).
Willie Cauley-Stein and George Hill each returned to the lineup and combined for 31 points. Hill was incredibly important down the stretch as he had his hand on almost every bucket the Kings made to close out the game. It was one of Hill’s best games with the Kings and it came just two days after he left the team, due to personal reasons. Hill told NBCS California’s sideline reporter Kayte Christensen after the game that he left due to a death in his family.
Cauley-Stein, returning from a back injury wasn’t in the game down the stretch as he was pulled for Hill, but he played 30 solid minutes for the Kings as he added six boards and two assists to go with 13 points.
It was one of the better team efforts the Kings have had this season and the defense stepped up at the right time to allow the Kings to maintain their lead. The Kings held the Devin Booker-less Suns to just 18 points in the fourth quarter and held Phoenix scoreless for over five minutes in the final period as well.
Zach Randolph’s offense got off to a slow start as he began the game 2-of-9 from the field, but he went on to make his final five baskets and slammed the lid shut on Phoenix’s hopes after an and-one with just 44 seconds left to stretch the lead to seven.
- Garrett Temple continued his tough stretch with an 0-for-5 performance from the field. Temple was the only player (out of 10 that played) for the Kings who didn’t score in the win. Temple is shooting just 23 percent in his last five games (7-of-30).
- The Kings bench, which has made it a habit of outscoring their opponents’ second units, did just that once again. They outscored the Suns bench 51-to-43.
- The Kings had 21 assists on the night and gave up just nine turnovers. The team also had nine steals in the game.
- Aside from Randolph’s iso at the end of the game, Sacramento’s ball movement to close the game was a thing of beauty as they had three assists on three buckets in the final four minutes.
- The Suns used five second quarter 3-pointers to stretch their lead to 10 before the Kings chipped away to trail by just two at the half.
- Sacramento’s defense held Phoenix to just two field goals in the final seven minutes of the game.
- Buddy Hield led the bench in scoring with 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting.