SACRAMENTO -- Coming into Saturday night’s clash with the Kings, the Phoenix Suns were riding a nine-game winning streak dating back to the Orlando bubble. That run is over.
In an epic battle of two talented young guards, De’Aaron Fox and Devin Booker put on a show, with Fox’s club coming away with the 106-103 win.
For the second straight game, Sacramento took it down to the wire. Despite the Kings still working on developing chemistry, they were the team that held it together in crunch time.
Sacramento had six players score in double figures as part of a balanced attack. The Kings struggled from the free-throw line, but they dominated the glass and got stops when they needed them.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings picked up another win to move to 2-0 on the season.
Fabulous Mr. Fox
Fox started the game by jumping over future Hall of Famer Chris Paul. That was only the beginning of his impressive night.
Sacramento’s star young guard put on a show against Booker and the Suns. Fox was under control -- even when flying over Paul -- and showed patience both from long range and at the charity stripe.
Fox finished the game with 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds, but that’s only half the story. His defense in the fourth quarter was next level, and was a big reason why the Kings held on for the win.
The talk coming into camp was that Fox looked like he was going to take another leap. Two games is a small sample size, but he’s playing up to the billing.
The NBA awarded Marvin Bagley an extra rebound following the Kings' opening-night win in Denver, which gave him a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double after nearly 11 months away from the game. Bagley made it two straight on Saturday.
Bagley, a Phoenix native, loves to face off against his hometown team and the franchise that passed on him during the 2018 NBA Draft. While he struggled from the free-throw line and played out of control for stretches, the 21-year-old big finished with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and chipped in 10 rebounds.
You can already see Bagley’s confidence growing. He needs to clean up a few things, but there is a lot to like about his aggressive play so far.
The Kings went out in the offseason and grabbed one of the top rebounders in the NBA in Hassan Whiteside. The veteran big seems to have started a trend in Sacramento.
Whiteside grabbed eight rebounds off the Kings’ bench, but he only managed to finish fourth on the team in that category. Bagley led the way with 11, Harrison Barnes ripped down 10 rebounds and Richaun Holmes chipped in nine as the Kings dominated the glass by a final tally of 56-40.
Running is fun, but rebounding and defense wins games.