NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 8th
(All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (21-40) at Sacramento Kings (21-42), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Pacific Division's two worst teams duke it out Friday
night when the Sacramento Kings host the Phoenix Suns at Sleep Train Arena.
The Suns are one game ahead of the Kings for the low spot in the Pacific
Division. They had a three-game winning streak snapped at home in an ugly
setback to the Toronto Raptors Wednesday, 98-71.
"That was pretty bad. I do not see one bright spot to take from that game
other than it is over," said interim head coach Lindsey Hunter.
The Raptors led by 14 at the half and kept it going. Toronto won the third
quarter by three and the fourth quarter by 10 to cruise to the easy victory.
To make the loss sting just a little worse, the Suns lost starting center
Marcin Gortat to injury. The big man went down in the first half and will miss
3-to-4 weeks with a Lisfranc sprain in his right foot.
"I actually stepped on someone's toe or foot with my heel and that's why - I
don't know what happened, I just heard a pop," Gortat said after the game. I
definitely heard a pop in my foot and I knew right away it wasn't an ankle, it
was just my arch."
The Raptors loss was disastrous from an offensive prospective. The Suns had
one player, Marcus Morris, score in double figures. He had 12.
The Suns are 2-1 in their last three on the road, including a shocking victory
on Feb. 27 in San Antonio against the Spurs.
The Kings are 3-2 in their last five at home, which will be familiar site to
the team. Sacramento plays six of its next eight in California's capital.
Last time out, the Kings were game, but fell to the Golden State Warriors
87-83 in Oakland. Klay Thompson made the go-ahead 3-pointer with less than
eight seconds on the clock.
"I thought our guys did a great job," head coach Keith Smart said. "Klay made
a big shot in the corner. Those things happen. The free-throw discrepancy was
pretty alarming, but that's how the game went."
The Warriors, who rely heavily on jumpers, shot 29 free throws compared to 12
Jason Thompson led the Kings with 17 points, followed by 15 from the newly-
acquired Patrick Patterson and 10 from Toney Douglas, who came with Patterson
in the deal with the Houston Rockets at the deadline.
The Suns have won five straight over the Kings, including both of this
season's matchups. Phoenix has taken five of its last seven in Sacramento.
03/08 10:36:18 ET