PHOENIX -- Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
The Phoenix Suns have been fooled twice by the Sacramento Kings, accounting for a third of their win total.
"We owe them," forward Marcus Morris said.
"We got to get them," guard Eric Bledsoe added.
A fourth quarter collapse cost the Suns the first meeting in Sacramento, 107-104. The Kings scored the final 10 points of the game aided by three straight Suns turnovers in the final minutes.
Less than 24 hours later, the teams matched up again, though this time in Phoenix, with the Kings earning their first road victory of the season, 113-106.
"For some reason, they're a tough team for us," head coach Jeff Hornacek said a day ahead of their third meeting Friday at US Airways Center.
Of the four teams the Suns have played multiple times this season, the Kings (6-14) are the only team to have beaten the Suns twice.
"Guys are competitive," Hornacek continued. "They know that Sacramento has had our number and they played well against us. It's probably like us against Portland. We have great confidence when we play those guys and Sacramento has confidence when they play us. It's going to be a difficult game. You've got to kind of knock that confidence down early in the game if you want to have a chance to win it."
Noticeably absent from those two meetings was Bledsoe. He had gotten hurt earlier in the week when P.J. Tucker collided with him in practice, bruising his left shin.
"It was definitely tough watching," said Bledsoe, who is averaging 15.8 points per game in the six contests since his return. "We were supposed to have won the first game we played them. The second game they just came out and flat out played harder than us."
Hornacek questioned his team's effort after the second game. Perhaps the Suns had overlooked the Kings, who had opened the season winning only two of their first nine games.
"That's definitely a mistake, I think, young teams make and we're a young team," center Miles Plumlee said. "Can't just have your emotions flow with how the game is going or who your opponent is, you got to play to your standards every game.
"We'll take them seriously (Friday)."
They had better. The Suns don't want to be fooled for a third time.
"Just got to come out and play our game," Bledsoe said. "No excuses."