No close, heart-stopping, last second, buzzer-beating loss this time.
No, this time it was just a loss, plain and simple.
Despite a season-high 31 points from Goran Dragic and a career-high tying six three-pointers from Gerald Green, the Suns dropped their fourth straight and second in as many nights to the Sacramento Kings, 113-106.
Faced with their largest deficit of the season (20 points), the Suns exploded for 44 fourth-quarter points but could not dig themselves out of a hole following a season-low 12-point third quarter.
Now 5-6, the Suns find themselves below .500 for the first time this season.
Dragic scored the Suns’ first 11 and accounted for the team’s first 17 points (assisting on two Green 3-pointers) of the game. He added 18 points in the fourth quarter, giving him his fourth career game of at least 30 points.
Green matched his season-high of 23 points, which he set the night before in Sacramento.
The Suns surrendered a 10-2 run in the first three minutes of the second quarter.
The Suns had more turnovers (six) than made field goals (four) in the third quarter.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Kings made ten more free throws (32) than the Suns attempted (22). The Kings were 32-of-38 (.842), while the Suns finished 15-of-22.
HE SAID IT
“Tonight was the first night that we probably didn’t have the effort,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “They out-hustled us on most things, especially early on in the game with the rebounding. There were a lot of balls — I told the guys after the game that the two games we played those guys, and any 50-50 balls, I don’t think we got a single one of them in two games. We were a step slow going for balls.”
The Kings have now beaten the Suns four straight times, their best run of success against Phoenix since winning five in a row from Dec. 23, 2001 through Dec. 17, 2002.
The Suns had been the only team to hold a lead in the fourth quarter in every game they’d played.
Eric Bledsoe (bruised shin) missed his second straight game.
The Suns hit the road for three games in four days. The trip begins in Charlotte on Friday. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 620.