Programming note: Kings-Suns coverage starts tonight at 5:30pm with Kings Pregame Live on CSN California, and streaming live right here.
Looking to shake off Tuesday night’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Sacramento Kings (1-3) travel to Phoenix to take on the Suns (2-2) at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Sacramento will be without All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins once again. The big man in the middle is struggling with an Achilles injury and coach George Karl will have to look to the bench for a scoring punch. The Kings are 11-34 all-time without their star big man over his five-plus seasons in the league.
After a solid start, Sacramento looked lost against Memphis in the second and third quarters. If they come out with the same effort in Phoenix they will get run off the floor by the speedy Suns.
Suns by 7
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Rudy Gay vs. P.J. Tucker -- With Cousins ailing, the Kings need Rudy Gay to shoulder the scoring load against defensive specialist P.J. Tucker. In three contests last season, Tucker held Gay to 13.7 points -- 7.4 points off his season average -- and the Kings forward shot just 15-for-44 (34 percent) from the field. Gay needs to have a breakout game against the gritty defender if Sacramento hopes to compete.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 1-3, fourth place in Pacific
Suns: 2-2, third place in Pacific
[RELATED: NBA standings]
Kings: C DeMarcus Cousins (strained right Achilles) out.
Suns: G Devin Booker (ankle) questionable.
Sacramento held a 3-1 advantage over Phoenix last season, including two wins on the road against their Pacific Division rivals. The Suns lead the all-time series between these two clubs 129-85 and hold a 82-46 advantage during the Sacramento era.
“That’s the thing about basketball -- you have to just turn the page, know what you did wrong, just take it to heart and continue to push forward.” --Kosta Koufos