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Suns Strokes: Short-handed Suns fall to Kings on the road

Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we will give you Suns Strokes, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from the Suns’ 121-112 loss to the Kings on March 8.

The Story:

Interim head coach Lindsey Hunter tinkered with the starting lineup on Friday night against the Kings. In the absence of Marcin Gortat, Hunter started Luis Scola at center and Markieff Morris at power forward.

The Good:

Beleaguered forward Michael Beasley performed well off the bench for the Suns, netting a team-high 24 points in 28 minutes on the night.

Wesley Johnson added a season-high 19 points and Goran Dragic contributed a double-double with 17 points and 16 assists.

The Bad:

Phoenix lost to a reeling Kings team (22-42) that had lost nine of their last 11 games.

The Suns played poorly defensively, allowing a woeful Kings team to shoot 55 percent, including 48.1 from downtown and 86 percent from the free-throw line. For the season, Sacramento had shot only 44 percent.

With the loss, Phoenix dropped to 21-41 on the season, tying New Orleans for the worst record in the Western Conference.


• The Suns saw their five-game winning streak against the Kings snapped in Friday’s defeat. Two of those wins came this season.

• Phoenix played without starting center Marcin Gortat, who is sidelined with a mid-foot sprain and could be out for the remainder of the year. Gortat was absent for the first time 182 games. The Suns were also without Jermaine O’Neal, who is tending to his ailing daughter.

• The Suns started Markieff and Marcus Morris on Friday, making them the first set of twins to start together in NBA history.

Up Next:

The Suns will head home to face the Houston Rockets on Saturday at US Airways Center. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. MST.