Five in Double Figures as Kings Rout Suns
Sacramento 119, Phoenix 90
SACRAMENTO, California, Jan. 17 (Ticker) -- The Sacramento Kings may not be as good at Arco Arena as they used to be. However, they still managed to maintain their home dominance over the Phoenix Suns.
Kevin Martin scored a career-high 25 points and Kenny Thomas collected 22 and a career-best 15 rebounds as the Kings throttled the Pacific Division-leading Suns, 119-90.
That was not the case Tuesday as the Kings took control early en route to handing the Suns their 10th loss in 11 encounters here.
"We played great, obviously," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "(We) were ready to play, were active, and moved the ball. But more importantly, we really followed our gameplan defensively."
"I'm just happy we won at home because I'm tired of getting booed," said Thomas, who led the Kings to a season-high 55 rebounds. "That never happened last year. If we come out and stay focused and have concentration like we did tonight, I think we're going to be all right."
Shawn Marion, who scored 25 points, gave Phoenix its biggest advantage at 26-21 on a layup with 3:47 left in the opening period. Sacramento responded by going on a 21-3 surge over the next five minutes.
The run started when Mike Bibby, who scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, began a stretch of three consecutive 3-pointers by the Kings. Sacramento made a season-high 12 shots from the arc.
For Martin, career highs have been coming with regularity of late. The second-year guard, given increased minutes due to the team's injuries, has delivered the kind of energetic play so often missing for the Kings during the first two months of the season.
"Tonight was fun," Martin said. "First we got a victory against the leading team in our division. To come and a get a victory and have a career night is always fun. Everybody played together tonight. We played great defense, helping each other. It was just an all-around great effort tonight."
Phoenix found no respite from the onslaught as Sacramento rolled to a 65-43 halftime advantage and led by at least 20 points after the break.
"We were flat, whatever you want to call it," Marion said. "We just took (a butt-) whipping tonight, it's that simple. They were hitting their shots and we weren't doing what we were supposed to do on the defensive end. They got a good win against us."
Despite playing without Peja Stojakovic, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Bonzi Wells, all five Kings starters scored at least 18 points. Rookie Francisco Garcia was among them, collecting season highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds.
"Kevin and I are getting comfortable on the court," said Garcia, who has logged 93 minutes the last two games. "When the starters get back, they're going to give everything they have. We'll be coming off the bench, so we'll be playing even better (from the experience). We'll be a better team the second half of the season. ... We just have to keep doing what we're doing."
The Suns matched their season low by shooting just 38 percent (33-of-88) as they were held under 100 points for just the second time in 14 games.
"For whatever reason, we had no energy and (Sacramento) came out and played great," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "If you put that combination together, this is what happens."