The Kings beat the Kevin Durant-less Suns on the road on Friday, and a lot of it had to do with the defense in the second half. That’s when Sacramento started double-teaming guard Devin Booker and just generally tried to make his life difficult.
“Really, we were just throwing junk defenses at them,” Kings guard De’Aaron Fox said. “Stuff that we really hadn’t even worked on. Those are the kinds of things you have to be able to do on the fly, especially when someone like Booker gets it going.”
- Suns coach Frank Vogel credited reigning NBA Coach of the Year Mike Brown for making halftime adjustments. “That’s when they made their move,” Vogel said. “Credit their coaching staff, they did a good job mixing coverages throughout the game.”
- Offensively, Fox said the Kings’ success was no big secret. “Shots started going in,” he told reporters. “It’s really simple as that. Tried to stay aggressive, teammates getting me open with screens and getting matchups that we like. It all just came together in the fourth quarter for myself.”
The Suns were missing both Durant (ankle) and of course star guard Bradley Beal (back) in their loss to the Kings on Friday. They’re now just 5-6 at home.
“We’re not there yet,” guard Eric Gordon told reporters. “We’re going to get there. We’ve just got to continue grinding through — lots of injuries, lots of things happening, but will be fine. Our effort’s there.”
- Devin Booker added that it’s a matter of putting the ball in the basket on a consistent basis. “I think we missed some good looks,” he said after the loss. “They did a couple of junk defenses, box-and-one, trapping at half court. We got good looks, we have to take those shots and make them.”
- The status of star guard Kyrie Irving remains up in the air after teammate Dwight Powell accidentally stepped on his foot in Friday’s road win over the Trail Blazers. Irving was forced to exit the game.
- Guard Dante Exum helped fill in for the loss of Irving by scoring 23 points. “He was big,” coach Jason Kidd said. “To have to start and play both ends, I thought he did a great job defensively. We lost (Irving), and Dante did a really good job.”