Phoenix -- For the first 24 minutes of Wednesday’s season opener at Talking Stick Resort Arena, the Sacramento Kings looked like a team on the rise. And then everything stopped working.
After leading by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Kings fell apart in Phoenix and the Suns ran them off the court.
Sacramento slipped into hero mode, turned the ball over and played dreadful defense on their way to a 124-95 loss in the season opener.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings head home after an embarrassing start to the 2019-20 season.
Turnovers were an issue throughout the preseason, which is to be expected with so many new faces. On opening night, the issue became...an issue.
Sacramento turned the ball over 27 times, which led to 35 points for the Suns. The Kings’ starting backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield led the way with five giveaways each, but it was a full team effort.
You can’t turn the ball over like the Kings did in the opener and expect to win games in the NBA.
Forcing the issue
Bogdan Bogdanovic came into camp on a high note after a breakout performance at FIBA World Cup. He rejoined the Kings healthy and in the best shape of his career.
During the preseason, Bogdanovic instantly found chemistry with center Richaun Holmes and the pair looked a dominant bench duo.
That might still happen, but the in opener against Phoenix, Bogdanovic struggled. He shot just 1-of-10 from the field on his way to two points in 22 minutes of action. Holmes struggled as well, finishing the night with one point and five rebounds in 17 minutes.
So about that extension...
Hield got paid on Monday. On Wednesday evening he showed why he was worth the four-year, $86 million extension the Kings paid, and maybe even a little more.
Sacramento’s starting shooting guard lit the Suns up for 28 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the field and 6-of-12 from behind the arc.
He disappeared in the third and quarters when the Suns turned up the defensive intensity, scoring just six points after the intermission.