Devin Booker and TJ Warren Erase Kings' Defeat Over Cavs Memory, Win 111-101 At G1C
Phoenix center Tyler Chandler tries to state his position to NBA referee Karl Lane after he was called for offensive goal tending at Golden 1 Center. The Suns won 111-101. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. Dec. 29, 2017.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. — The Sacramento Kings went back to their old mysterious method of finding ways to lose a ball game after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-95 Dec. 27 at Golden 1 Center.
This time there was no LeBron James, but a dude name Devin Booker and his sidekick TJ Warren for the Phoenix Suns were the lead story on Friday night. In essence, the Kings’ victory over the Cavaliers sort of means nothing now.
Booker scored 12 points in the last five minutes of the game to hand the Suns (14-23) a 111-101 victory over the Kings. In his second game back after suffering a groin injury, Booker had 26 points, three rebounds, and three assists in nearly 32 minutes.
For the record, Booker missed 15 of his first 19 shots from the field, but made 4 of 6 buckets down the stretch. He also outscored the Kings 12-4 to end the game. Overall, he made 9 of 25 shots from the field, 3 of 9 beyond the arc, and 5 of 7 from the free-throw line.
“I missed a lot of shots I felt like I could make, but I was really aggressive (in the fourth quarter),” Booker said. “TJ helped us out really big with scoring tonight, but it was a team win tonight. We locked in late in the game.”
Small Forward Warren made his first six shots for the Suns on his way to a 26-point night. He made 10 of 18 shots from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds in almost 29 minutes. Booker said he and Warren are “natural scorers, but in different ways,” a formula Suns head coach Jay Triano approves.
“They are great together, but when I take one out I try to keep the other one in the game just to carry it offensively,” Triano said of Booker and Warren. “But when they are on the floor together it’s a tough match for teams. Devin knows. He’s an intelligent basketball player. He doesn’t look at the bench. He’ll say, ‘TJ just made two...I’m going to get him another one.”
Zach Randolph had 14 points, three rebounds, three assists, and one blocked shot for the Kings (12-23). Bogdan Bogdanovic had 13 points while Skal Labissiere, George Hill, Buddy Hield and Garrett Temple each had 12 points.
After defeating Cleveland the other night, the Kings knew they had to back it up against the Suns. Sacramento’s balanced attack was well orchestrated by head coach Dave Joerger. It just that the team, a young team, still hasn’t completely figure the close out part, yet.
“We have to come out and get up for each team no matter what the rotation is,” Temple said. “Everybody has to be ready for each game and get your mind right every time you step on the court.”
The Suns built up a 39-25 lead on a running lay up by Warren early in the second quarter. The Suns led 55-46 at the break and 88-83 after three quarters.
The Kings came back on a 9-5 run to take a 94-93 lead on a 3-point shot by Frank Mason with 8:47 left to play. The Kings extended their gap to 97-93 on two free throws by Bogdanovic and one from the charity strike by Willie Cauley-Stein.
After center Tyson Chandler made two free throws for the Suns, Booker went to work, beginning with a driving layup to tie the game at the 4:59 mark. The Suns closed out the game with an 18-point run.
The Suns are 5-2 in their last seven games and have won three of the last four to improve 8-10 on the road. Sacramento falls to 6-9 at G1C and 3-5 against Pacific Division teams. During the Suns run, the Kings missed 9 of 10 shots from the field, the only basket by Hield with 21.2 seconds left in the game.
“They jammed the paint and they didn’t have to stretch out too much,” Joerger said. “They put two guys on Zach when he really did have the ball. We’ll learn and get better.”
Kings coach Dave Joerger is 9 games from winning 200 games in the NBA. Joerger would be the 90th coach to reach the milestone in coaching, though two other coaches may arrive there quicker. Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks currently has (198-career) wins and Boston Celtics’ Brad Stevens has 194 under his belt. All three coaches began as head coaches five seasons ago.
The Suns are 9-2 this season when leading or tied after the first quarter. By making 11 of 22 shots from the field, Phoenix led 35-25 to end the first quarter against the Kings and every starter scored a basket.
Over the last six games, the Suns’ bench players are averaging 47.7 points on 42.7 percent shooting from the field. The Suns were also making 38.9 percent of their shots behind the arc while averaging 7.0 treys per game. The Suns' bench totaled for 34 points against the Kings.
Sacramento native Marquese Chriss had 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and one blocked shot in the victory over the Kings.
On The Marquee:
Sacramento Kings: Host Memphis Grizzlies on Dec. 31.
Phoenix Suns: Host Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 31.
Publicity Agents OpticalVision. Footage by T. Ray Harvey
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.