The Phoenix Suns never really great in this game but were able to take a comfortable 12-point lead into the final six minutes of the game but couldn't get the late stops, key rebounds or big buckets needed to win on the road even against the team with the league's worst record, the Sacramento Kings. The Suns renewed focus on defense paid off as they held the Kings to just 40.5 percent shooting but Sacramento's 60 rebounds, 18 offensive, were too much for the Suns to overcome as they fell to the Kings 94-89 and dropped back to four games under .500.
The Suns will have to evaluate the decision to play a small lineup with Grant Hill at the power forward position. It was a formula that worked well against the Detroit Pistons but Hill was simply over-matched in the paint by Carl Landry (12 rebounds) and Jason Thompson (6 rebounds). With Channing Frye moved to the bench to help that unit play better, the options at power forward are limited to the defensively-challenged Hakim Warrick or a big lineup with Robin Lopez and Marcin Gortat playing together which would clog the lane for Steve Nash.
The Suns still would have been fine had at least one other shooter been able to hit their shots. Grant Hill, Mickael Pietrus, Jared Dudley and Channing Frye all combined for 10-40 shooting for the game. Vince Carter was an inefficient 7-17 and other than a few threes didn't look good. Only Steve Nash (8-8) and Marcin Gortat (6-10) were able to get anything going offensively against the Kings and that was taken away by a late pack-the-paint defense from Sacramento.
Sacramento's late 19-2 run was fueled 13 fourth-quarter points from DeMarcus Cousins and two huge threes from Omri Casspi. Cousins finished the game with 28 points against the defense of Marcin Gortat and to a lesser degree, Robin Lopez.
The Suns are off the next two days and will undoubtedly be back on the practice court searching for answers before facing the Los Angeles Lakers at home on Wednesday.