By Ben York, Suns.com The 12-9 Suns meet the new-look 6-13 Kings for the third time this season; the Kings lead the season series 2-0, winning a home-and-home, back-to-back set on Nov. 19-20. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Arizona at 7:00pm and fans can listen to the radio broadcast on Arizona Sports 620. Click through to see five things Suns fans should watch for during #SunsVsKings.
Scoring in Droves The Suns rank 1st in the NBA with 20.0 fast break points per game (New Orleans is next with 17.7) and rank 1st in the NBA with 19.7 percent of the team’s total points coming on the fast break (next highest is New Orleans with 17.1 percent). The Suns have scored at least 20 fast break points in 12 of the first 21 games of the season. In 2012-13, Phoenix scored 20+ fast break points 12 times all season. Additionally, the Suns have made 7+ three-pointers in 13 consecutive games, the team’s longest streak since doing so in 14 straight from Dec. 30, 2007-Jan. 25, 2008. In the second quarter of games, the Suns outscore opponents by an average of 3.8 points which ranks 3rd in the league point differential in the second period.
The Morris Effect The Suns are 5-1 this season when either Marcus or Markieff Morris scores 20+ points. Not only do the Morris brothers provide a scoring punch off the bench, their energy and toughness on the defensive end is an added bonus. Against a new-look Kings team, the Suns will need that type of production from the twins tonight.
Pace of Play The Suns rank 8th in the NBA with an Offensive Rating (points scored per 100 possessions) of 105.2 (29th at 98.2 last season). Furthermore, Phoenix is 9-3 this season when scoring 100+ points. The last time they played the Kings, lack of energy was a factor in their loss. They’ll look to avenge that game tonight.
1-2 Punch At the moment, the Suns’ 1-2 punch of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe are both averaging over 18 points and six assists per game; the last teammates in the NBA to both average over 18 and six in a season were Michael Jordan (30.1, 6.1) and Scottie Pippen (21.0, 7.0) of the Chicago Bulls in 1991-92. If Bledsoe and Dragic catch fire tonight, it certainly bodes well for the Suns.
Charity Stripe The Suns are 8-0 this season when attempting more free throws than their opponent and 3-7 when their opponent attempts more. Indeed, a major key for the Suns tonight will be preventing DeMarcus Cousins from having his way in the paint and avoiding foul trouble.