The Phoenix Suns have made the most of their longest homestand of the season.With that six-game stretch about to end, the Suns look to match a season high with a third consecutive victory Sunday night against the Sacramento Kings.Phoenix (16-20) was mired in a four-game losing streak when it opened this homestand, which surrounded the All-Star break, with a 102-90 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 19. The Suns have won four of five in a stretch that concludes Sunday."We have got to take advantage of every situation as far as playing at home," coach Alvin Gentry told the Suns' official website.Jared Dudley scored 22 points and Marcin Gortat added 18 with 14 rebounds as the Suns rallied from an early 11-point deficit to beat the Clippers 81-78 on Friday despite shooting 35.0 percent. It was the Suns' lowest field-goal percentage in a win since shooting 33.3 percent during a 78-74 victory over Cleveland on Nov. 1, 2002.While the offense struggled, Phoenix held Los Angeles to 36.8 percent shooting. Channing Frye had just six points and missed all but two of his 18 shots, but he posted 14 rebounds and helped hold Clippers star Blake Griffin to season-worst 6-of-19 shooting."If we are not going to shoot the ball well then the only thing that can keep us in the game is our defense," said Gentry, whose team is 9-9 at home.The Suns have held their last five opponents to 91.4 points per game on 42.0 percent shooting, including 27.6 percent from 3-point range. That is a major improvement for a Phoenix club that had allowed visitors to US Airways Center to make 40.7 percent of their 3s before that.Sacramento (12-24) has shot 29.8 percent from beyond the arc while going 4-18 on the road in 2011-12. The Kings, however, went 6 of 13 on 3s while ending a 10-game skid at Phoenix with a 113-108 win in their most recent visit Feb. 13, 2011.The Suns snapped a three-game losing streak in the series with a 98-84 road win Feb. 11, holding Sacramento to 35.1 percent from the field.Dudley has scored 41 points over his last two games against the Kings - both on the road. He's been limited to 39 versus Sacramento in six home games for the Suns.Gortat has averaged 19.7 points and 12.2 rebounds in his last six overall, and had 20 with 12 boards in the home loss to the Kings last season.Though Sacramento has dropped two in a row and eight of 10, it cut a 20-point, fourth-quarter deficit to five before falling 115-107 to the Lakers on Friday."These guys could have folded," coach Keith Smart said. "That's why this group is going to be OK. This group is going to come around as we continue to get familiar with each other, and they're going to play hard every single night."DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points versus Phoenix last month. The second-year big man has averaged 23.7 in three career home contests against the Suns, but in his only game at Phoenix he was held to nine during a 103-89 loss Nov. 12, 2010.
SACRAMENTO - All hands on deck. The Sacramento Kings open the 2017-18 schedule Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at Golden 1 Center and it looks like they might do so with a full arsenal of players at their disposal.
Point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to practice on Sunday and then participated in the team’s annual Fanfest. If his dance moves are any indication, the 19-year-old’s back is feeling just fine.
Veteran George Hill tweaked his groin Friday against the Golden State Warriors, leaving his availability for opening night in question. Hill, 31, who has a history of groin injuries, was on the court Monday practicing and said he is ready to play.
“Everything is feeling good right now,” Hill said Monday following practice.
The only player who didn’t practice on Monday is rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic, who sprained his right ankle against the Warriors. According to head coach Dave Joerger, the team is hopeful that the Serbian sharpshooter will return in time for Game 1.
“We’re still shooting for Wednesday for both of them,” Joerger said of Hill and Bogdanovic.
New look Rockets
The Rockets went 55-27 last season under head coach Mike D’Antoni, but that didn’t stop them from going all in during the offseason. With MVP runner-up James Harden already manning the backcourt, Houston added nine-time All-Star Chris Paul as their new starting point guard.
“Leadership, he’s a floor general,” Hill said about Paul. “Anywhere he goes, he’ll make a team better. We know they were already a good team without him, coming in with him is going to be a bigger task.”
It’s a new look roster and the expectations are huge for the Rockets. Houston averaged 115.3 points per game last season and led the league in both 3-point attempts and makes. This season, they also added two strong perimeter defenders in P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute.
It’s a huge test coming out of the gate for Sacramento. Following the contest against the Rockets, the Kings hit the road for three straight before returning to Golden 1 next Thursday to face DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans.
With the season just around the corner, the Sacramento Kings made their final roster cuts on Sunday afternoon. David Stockton, Matt Jones and Reggie Hearn were waived, leaving the Kings with 15 rostered players and two two-way players in Jack Cooley and JaKarr Sampson.
Stockton, Jones and Hearn are all expected to join the Reno Bighorns of the NBA’s G-League.
SACRAMENTO The Sacramento Kings announced Sunday that the team has requested waivers on guards David Stockton, Matt Jones and Reggie Hearn.
Stockton appeared in two contests for Sacramento during the preseason, averaging 11.5 points (9-13 FG, 3-4 3pt, 2-4 FT) and 5.0 assists in 16.3 minutes per game, including a game-high 23 points to accompany three rebounds, eight assists and two steals off the bench at Golden State (10/13).
Jones played in five exhibition games, posting 2.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 11.7 minutes per contest.
Hearn appeared in one preseason game.
Kings media services