The Sacramento Kings split their last two games against the Dallas Mavericks and are now looking to take on a division foe in the Phoenix Suns. Can they get an important win?
Catch the game tomorrow at 10:00 AM, Manila time.
AWAY: Sacramento Kings (32-24, 15-12 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- De’Aaron Fox
- Kevin Huerter
- Harrison Barnes
- Keegan Murray
- Domantas Sabonis
The Sacramento Kings continue to defy expectations heading into the All-Star break. They’re currently sitting at third in the Western Conference and are just one spot ahead of their upcoming opponents.
At the heart of their surprising run are their two All-Stars. De’Aaron Fox is averaging 24.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game while being the most clutch player in the NBA. In their previous game against Dallas, he scored 26 of 36 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and was the reason they won the game.
Domantas Sabonis, who will join Fox in Utah, is a nightly triple-double threat who averages 18.7 points, 12.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game. His playmaking through the first three quarters is what keeps the Kings engine going, and allows Fox to save much of his energy for the closing moments of the game. His battle with Deandre Ayton will be key if the Kings want to win.
The Kings have struggled recently from the three, where their league-leading offense relies on many of their points. So a resurgence for Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes and Keegan Murray will be big. Terence Davis filled in an injured Malik Monk’s minutes against Dallas, and he’ll be called on again this time around.
Sacramento are 8-6-0 as the away underdogs.
HOME: Phoenix Suns (31-27, 19-9 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- Chris Paul
- Devin Booker
- Torrey Craig
- TJ Warren
- Deandre Ayton
The Phoenix Suns do not have Kevin Durant available yet, but they certainly have plenty of firepower in Devin Booker. Booker torched the Kings for 44 points on 17 of 28 shooting in their last meeting, and the Kings didn’t add anyone that can guard him for an entire game before the deadline. His output will be crucial the Suns’ success.
They’ll also have Chris Paul back for this one, and he missed their previous meeting this season. His playmaking continues to be at an All-NBA level, even as his scoring continues to slow down.
Deandre Ayton also has a big job to do, as the Kings lack frontcourt depth and have trouble guarding strong big men down low. If he can get Domantas Sabonis into foul trouble, and Sabonis leads the league in fouling out, then the Kings could be in for a long night.
What will be interesting to see is who will primarily guard De’Aaron Fox and the Kings’ wing players, as they gave up their best wing defender in Mikal Bridges as part of the Durant trade. They’ll want to get ahead of the Kings fast in this one, especially since the Suns are playing at home, because the Kings are a pesky team that relishes playing in and winning games that come down to the wire.
Phoenix are 13-9-0 as home favorites this season.
Handicap: The Kings may lose a close one, but they’re always in the game. I like them at +2.5.
Over/Under: Phoenix will guide the pace of the offense. Going over 236.5 looks good.