News » Kings-Suns Preview 2009-12-04

Kings-Suns Preview 2009-12-04

Kings-Suns Preview 2009-12-04Coming off consecutive blowout losses on the road, the Phoenix Suns aren't panicking as they head into Saturday's Pacific Division matchup.

Fifteen consecutive home wins likely gives them some added confidence.

The Suns look for their eighth straight victory at home against the Sacramento Kings, who are going for their first five-game winning streak in three seasons.

After averaging 112.0 points on 50.7 percent shooting from the field during its 14-3 start, Phoenix (14-5) has scored 94.5 points per game and shot 42.7 percent in its first set of back-to-back losses. Following Tuesday's 126-99 defeat to New York, the Suns closed a 2-2 trip with a 107-90 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday.

It was Phoenix's lowest point total since a 91-90 loss to San Antonio on Dec. 25.

"We've got some work to do. We're a good basketball team. We're just struggling right now," coach Alvin Gentry said after his Suns were outscored 33-14 in the first quarter. "There are things we've got to get corrected, but it's not anything we can't do when we get a couple of practice days.

"We're not in any kind of panic situation."

Especially not at home, where Phoenix has won 15 in a row since a 119-111 loss to the Cavaliers on March 12.

Included in that stretch was a 139-111 victory over Sacramento on April 3.

In the teams' previous meeting at US Airways Center, the Suns posted the franchise's most lopsided home win with a 129-81 victory Feb. 2. The Kings have lost their last seven trips to Phoenix by an average of 24.5 points.

The Suns have won 12 of 14 overall in this series, but they will meet a Sacramento team targeting its first five-game winning streak since Jan. 31-Feb. 10, 2007.

The Kings (9-8) closed a 4-0 homestand with Wednesday's 110-105 victory over Indiana.

Despite being saddled with three fouls in the first half, rookie guard Tyreke Evans scored 26 points, including five free throws in the final 44 seconds, to move Sacramento back above .500.

Last season, when the Kings finished a franchise-worst 17-65, they didn't win their ninth game until Jan. 11.

"If we have a winning record at this time next week maybe I'll smoke a cigar," coach Paul Westphal said Wednesday.

If Evans can continue playing at this level, Sacramento has an opportunity to continue its push up the Pacific Division. Evans, the Western Conference rookie of the month in November, has scored 20 or more points in nine of his last 11 games.

This will be his first matchup with Steve Nash, the league leader in assists per game with 11.5. He averaged 23.0 points and 10.7 assists in three games versus Sacramento last season.

The Kings haven't won in Phoenix since a 118-117 victory Nov. 6, 2005. Sacramento is 1-6 on the road this season.

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Added: December 4, 2009


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