Suns Lose Despite Big Games from Green, Goodwin
After two heartbreaking losses against the Trail Blazers and Nets, the Suns were hoping that lightning wouldn’t strike three times in a row.
Unfortunately for Phoenix, that’s exactly what happened.
Without starting point guard Eric Bledsoe (shin bruise) who leads the Suns in scoring (20.4) and assists (6.8), Phoenix fell to DeMarcus Cousins (27 points, 19 rebounds) and the Kings on Tuesday night, 107-104.
Sacramento entered the game having lost seven of eight, but scored the game’s final 10 points while Phoenix turned the ball over three straight times in the closing minutes. Kings reserve Travis Outlaw swished a 15-foot turnaround jumper near the top of the key with 40 seconds remaining to tie the game at 104. Sacramento then forced a turnover on the following possession, leading to two free throws by Isaiah Thomas to take a 106-104 lead.
With less than six seconds left on the clock, Marcus Morris missed a corner 3-pointer and Cousins grabbed the rebound and made 1 of 2 free throws with just under a second left to preserve the Kings' victory.
“That one was the worst of all of them,” Jeff Hornacek said of the team’s last three close losses. “We’re playing tentative with the game on the line. Give them [Sacramento] credit. They stuck in there and we gave them a couple easy ones.”
Gerald Green had his best game as a member of the Suns with 23 points, four assists and three rebounds while shooting 50 percent (4-of-8) from downtown. Marcus Morris added 19 points while Channing Frye pitched in 17 points and nine rebounds.
Phoenix's five losses this season have been by a total of 16 points.
The Suns opened the second quarter on a blistering 16-2 run en route to 37 points in the period led by a breakout game from Archie Goodwin. In addition to his 16 points, Goodwin finished with two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 19 minutes of action.
Both the Suns and Kings shot eerily similar from the field (47 percent) and from the 3-point line (36 percent for the Kings, 35 percent for the Suns). Ultimately, however, the battle on the glass was a major factor in the Suns’ loss; Phoenix was out-rebounded 48-31 by Sacramento.
“They took the game from us,” Hornacek added. “Once you give a team some momentum offensively they become hard to stop.
“We were playing not to lose.”