Suns Click on All Cylinders, Beat Kings
“It’s not for us,” Goran Dragic said with a smile when asked if it was scary to think of how much better he and Eric Bledsoe could get as the season winds on.
The rest of the NBA, however, should be terrified.
On Fan Appreciation Night, the duo combined for 57 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds on 21-of-30 from the field en route to an impressive 116-107 win over the Sacramento Kings – Phoenix’s fourth win in a row.
“They trust each other,” Jeff Hornacek said about the play of Dragic and Bledsoe after the game. “They feed off one another and are starting to get a pretty good feel of what they can do together.”
Phoenix improved to 13-9 on the year, giving them their best 22-game start since the 2009-10 season when they started 15-7.
The Suns busted out of the gates to a 13-2 lead but the Kings stormed back with a 24-4 run at the end of the first quarter and start of the second. Marcus Thornton sank a 3-pointer, then Derrick Williams converted a Suns turnover into a layup to cap the outburst, giving Sacramento a 39-28 lead with 10:30 left in the half.
The Kings led by as many as 11 before a 14-3 Suns spurt put Phoenix ahead 49-47 on Dragic's two free throws with 4:07 to go in the second quarter. Sacramento ran off nine consecutive points to go up 58-49 on Thomas' third 3-pointer of the night 1:43 before the break. Channing Frye's 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds to play cut Sacramento's lead to 61-58 at the half.
Then, in the second half, Miles Plumlee happened.
Phoenix took the lead for good with a 14-0 third-quarter run that started after Plumlee chased down Cousins from behind on a fast break and blocked the layup hard off the glass. Dragic's 3-pointer capped the outburst as the Suns led 77-65 with 6:13 to play in the third quarter. Dragic and Bledsoe scored five apiece in the run.
“It’s never about one guy,” Goran Dragic added. “The more people we get involved, the better. That’s what I try to do every time we play and I think we did that tonight.”
Dragic finished with 29 points and fellow guard Eric Bledsoe had a career-high 28. Miles Plumlee had two crucial blocks of DeMarcus Cousins' shots and had four emphatic fourth-quarter dunks for 12 points.
As a team, the Suns shot 50 percent from the floor, 49 percent from 3-point land, and assisted on 20 of their 41-made field goals.
“It went to another level in terms of intensity,” Hornacek said. “We did a good job of making things difficult on them.
“I thought we played closer to what we are capable of.”