With three minutes left in the first half, the Phoenix Suns looked well on their way to another win in a season in which many expected victories to be few and far between.
Phoenix had turned a 10-point hole into a 12-point lead and was getting the type of production that many imagined may be possible from the likes of Gerald Green, Archie Goodwin and Marcus Morris.
But the Sacramento Kings closed the Suns’ lead to six as the third quarter expired, and finished the game on a 10-0 run to hand Phoenix a 107-104 loss — their third straight — in front of 14,626 at Sleep Train Arena.
Phoenix was playing without guard Eric Bledsoe, who sat out with a bruised left shin. First-rounder Alex Len made his first appearance since Nov. 1 after missing seven games with ankle soreness.
Green stepped up in a big way in Bledsoe’s absence, scoring 23 points and dishing four assists while making the start. The Suns also got big games from Channing Frye, Marcus Morris and Archie Goodwin, while Miles Plumlee and Goran Dragic also added double-digit scoring nights.
Losing a one-possession game is never easy to take — especially when the other team closes on a 10-0 run. But the Suns also squandered a number of offensive chances down the stretch, including a pair of brutal turnovers from Dragic in the game’s final few minutes (he had seven turnovers in the game).
Phoenix’s bigs also allowed DeMarcus Cousins to go off for 27 points and 12 rebounds while guard Isaiah Thomas added 19 points of his own. Phoenix guard Ish Smith was -19 for the game while Plumlee was -15 and P.J. Tucker -12. Len didn’t score in five minutes.
Stat of the Game
Phoenix had 25 fast break points to Sacramento’s four, but the Suns scored just 13 points off 21 Sacramento turnovers.
The Suns return to Phoenix Wednesday to host the Kings at 7 p.m.