SACRAMENTO -- After a big come from behind victory on Friday over the Miami Heat, the Kings have an opportunity to finish their homestand at 5-1 Sunday afternoon. They'll host a Phoenix Suns team that is struggling, but managed to hand the Kings a loss the last time the two teams faced off.
Sacramento trailed by 17 points in the late third quarter against the Heat, but stormed back in the fourth and finished the game on a 19-2 run. Newcomers Harrison Barnes and Alec Burks made nice contributions in their debuts, but it was a team effort that put the Kings over the top.
Without any incentive to win, Phoenix has dropped 13 straight and sit at the bottom of the Western Conference standings at 11-46. They have talent, but so far this season, they haven't figured out how to best utilize their young group of players.
Kings Pregame Live on NBC Sports California begins at 2:30 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 3:00. All coverage can be seen on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app.
Sacramento concludes their pre-All-Star break schedule with a stop in Denver on Wednesday. They'll start the home stretch with three tough road games, beginning on Feb. 21 with their final match of the season against the Golden State Warriors.
Kings by 9.5
PG De’Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Harrison Barnes
PF Nemanja Bjelica
C Willie Cauley-Stein
PG Elie Okobo
SG Devin Booker
SF Mikal Bridges
PF Josh Jackson
C Deandre Ayton
No injuries to report.
PG Devin Booker (hamstring) probable, SF T.J. Warren (ankle) out, PG De'Anthony Melton (ankle) out.
Coach Dave Joerger's group is dealing with a flurry of trade deadline deals that reshaped a third of his roster. The team was able to meet and do some light work together on Saturday, but with little time in the schedule, the team will have to find a way to integrate the new players on the fly.
Barnes started at the small forward spot in his first game in Sacramento and finished the night with 12 points and seven rebounds. Joerger moved him to the power forward spot to open the second half and he played a team-high 37 minutes in the win. Expect more of the same over the next few games as Joerger searches for combinations of players that work well together.
Like Barnes, Burks saw minutes in his first game with the Kings. Joerger moved the veteran guard all over the place in his 15 minutes of court time. The Kings love his size and versatility and he will likely see plenty of time on the court as they move into the stretch run.
According to Joerger, Corey Brewer, who inked a 10-day contract on Friday, is not expected to see rotational minutes, although that could change. The 32-year-old forward matches up well against a team like Phoenix who has plenty of length and athleticism at the three and the four.
Booker is scheduled to make his return after missing two games with a hamstring issue. The high-scoring guard has yet to make an appearance against Sacramento in the previous three matchups between the teams.
Phoenix made a move at the deadline as well, bringing in combo-guard Tyler Johnson in a swap with the Heat. Johnson has burned the Kings a few times in his career and can be dangerous if he catches fire from the perimeter.
The Suns come into the game 24th in the league in scoring and 28th in points allowed. They also rank 30th in 3-point percentage, 30th in rebounding and 29th in turnovers per game.