Looking to start their four-game road trip off on the right foot, the Sacramento Kings came out with intensity and ran over the Phoenix Suns in the first quarter. With Devin Booker and T.J. Warren both sitting out due to injury, Sacramento jumped all over the Suns coming out of the gate, taking a 36-9 lead into the second.
The Kings led by as many as 35 in the first half and continued the domination after the intermission to come away with a 122-105 road victory.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings picked up their second-straight win to improve to 12-11 on the season.
The three-headed monster of Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic is gelling. In the first half, it was all Hield, who scored 18 of his 20 points in the first 24 minutes of the game.
Fox started off slowly, missing his first five shots. He rebounded to finish with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting to go with seven assists.
Bogdanovic came in off the bench firing away to chip in 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting and added five rebounds.
The trio played limited minutes due to the lopsided score, but they are building momentum as a group.
Cauley-Stein set the defensive tempo in the first few minutes of the game. He faced-up Phoenix rookie Deandre Ayton on the blocks and the Suns repeatedly tried to force-feed their starting center. The result was four first quarter steals for the Kings’ 7-footer.
Cauley-Stein finished the game with six points, five assists and four rebounds in just 18 minutes as the game spun out of control. His play in the first quarter helped end this game early.
Come out swinging
With the Suns playing shorthanded, this matchup had all the makings of a trap game. The Kings didn’t take the bait.
Sacramento put the game out of reach in the first 12 minutes when they outscored Phoenix 36-9 on their home floor. The Kings held the Suns to just 3-of-17 shooting from the field in the period, including 0-of-9 from behind the arc. They also forced seven turnovers in the quarter and were the aggressors on both ends of the court.
The nine points by Phoenix marked the fewest points scored by a Kings opponent in the first quarter since 1954. The previous low was set on Feb. 17, 1955 when the Rochester Royals held the Philadelphia Warriors to just 10 points in the first quarter.