SACRAMENTO -- With the 2016-17 campaign nearing a conclusion, the Sacramento Kings close down the inaugural season at Golden 1 Center Tuesday evening against the Phoenix Suns.
The Kings have dropped two straight, but they made a game of it Sunday against the Houston Rockets. Seven players scored in double figures for Sacramento, including 25 from rookie Skal Labissiere and an impressive 20-point, 11-assist performance from veteran point guard Ty Lawson.
Phoenix has rattled off two straight wins after dropping the previous 13 games. Like the Kings, they have turned to their young core down the stretch, featuring eight players 24-years-old or younger. Rookies Tyler Ulis and Marquese Chriss start alongside 20-year-old budding star Devin Booker and young bigs Alex Lin and T.J. Warren.
Kings by 4.5
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 31-49, third place Pacific
Suns: 24-57, fifth place Pacific
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Skal Labissiere vs. Marquese Chriss: The Rematch -- Labissiere came off the Kings bench and dropped a career-high 32 points on 11-of-15 shooting and added 11 rebounds in less than 30 minutes of action the last time these two faced off. Chriss shot 6-of-14 from the field for 17 points and added seven rebounds and five blocks in 32 minutes, but he was clearly overshadowed. These two will have plenty of battles against one another over the next decade in the NBA.
Kings: Arron Afflalo, Tyreke Evans and Kosta Koufos are out (rest), and Darren Collison (migraine headache) is also out.
Suns: C Tyson Chandler and PG Eric Bledsoe shut down for the remainder of the season. PG Brandon Knight (back spasms) out, Leandro Barbosa (hamstring) out.
Sacramento leads the season series between these two teams 2-1 after beating the Suns on their home floor 107-101 last month. Phoenix leads the all-time series 131-89 and they hold an 84-50 advantage during the Sacramento-era.
“There’s a level of experience that you have to have. They’re playing at a doctoral thesis level and here is a young guy in his first year and you’re trying to spit some words out of what coverage we should be in and it just takes experience. It’s not that they’re trying to mess up - they are trying to do the best they can.” -Dave Joerger on his young club following the loss to Houston