October 23, 2017, 9:46 pm
The Suns have struggled to get their squad going through their first three games of the season, but the team was able to take advantage of a rough start for the Kings to get their first win of the 2017-18 campaign.
Phoenix jumped out to an early 13-2 lead in the first, fueled by an incredible offensive outburst from Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss. They finished the quarter with a 36-17 lead, going 14-20 from the field.
A nice 13-4 run from Sacramento to start the second quarter brought the Kings right back into the fold and helped get the team into a normal rhythm before the half.
Buddy Hield, a player not often celebrated for his work on defense, carried the team after the half with five steals in just the third quarter. Hield has been streaky this season, but this was by far his most encouraging defensive performance of the year.
The Kings were then lifted by 16 fourth quarter points from Garrett Temple, but the early deficit was just too much to overcome.
The season is still early, but the team looks much more dynamic when they make an effort to get some youth on the floor, and tonight was no exception.
Willie Cauley-Stein held the team together in the first, and strong performances off the bench from Skal Labissiere, Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Aaron Fox kept the game within reach in the second.
Aaron Bruski recently went in-depth on the complications involved in distributing minutes, and while the team was wise to take a cautious approach with their young players to start the season, it may be time to re-evaluate the starting lineup in an effort to give the team more energy at the beginning of games.
The team will now prepare for their second game at home this season when the New Orleans Pelicans visit the Golden One Center Thursday night.
De’Aaron Fox – 19 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST 3 STL (7-of-16 FG)
Fox once again made his presence felt off the bench, bringing energy to both ends of the floor and a speed element that very few in the NBA can match. Fox still struggles with his decision making at times, but his impact has been undeniable this season.
Garret Temple – 23 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST (8-of-13 FG)
Temple remains one of the most consistent players on the Kings, but offensive outburst like this are rare for him. His clutch shooting was the only reason the team was able to attempt a late comeback and his versatility served the team well throughout the game.
Buddy Hield – 14 PTS, 2 REB, 5 STL (6-of-15 FG)
Hield struggled in a big way early on, and his poor decisions played a big role in the Suns’ early lead. With that said, his defensive performance in the third helped carry the lineup that dug such a deep hole for the Kings in the first quarter.