NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, April 16th
(All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (47-34) at Sacramento Kings (28-53), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Hornacek deserves recognition as Coach of the Year
with the Phoenix Suns for their impressive 2013-14 season.
Hornacek and the Suns will not participate in the playoffs and look to end the
season on a winning note Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings. The Suns were
eliminated from postseason contention with Monday's 97-91 home loss versus the
The Suns and Grizzlies battled throughout the game and especially in the
fourth quarter, when Memphis recorded a 30-24 advantage. The Suns rallied from
a 10-point deficit after the first quarter (24-14) and were led by Markieff
Morris's 21 points off the bench.
Goran Dragic and Channing Frye scored 14 points apiece and Eric Bledsoe added
13 for the Suns, who are mired in a three-game losing streak after winning
three straight and nine of 11 games. Phoenix shot 48 percent, scored 23 points
off 19 turnovers and made only 5-of-26 3-pointers.
"We came up short," said Dragic. "We are headed in the right direction.
Overall it was a great and fun year for us."
Phoenix wasn't expected to win this many games, but overcame the odds under
the Hornacek regime.
The Suns, who were aiming for their first playoff berth since 2009-10, have a
21-19 record away from home.
Sacramento hopes to close another playoff-less season with consecutive wins
with the Suns in town. The Kings haven't been to the postseason since 2005-06
and halted a five-game slide the last time out in Sunday's 106-103 win over
the Minnesota Timberwolves.
DeMarcus Cousins had 35 points, 15 rebounds and six assists, but also picked
up his 16th technical foul. That means Cousins will start his offseason early
and is suspended for Wednesday's game. Cousins ended the 2013-14 campaign with
eight straight double-doubles, posting 27.9 points and 12.3 boards in that
span. He totaled 53 double-doubles, third in the NBA.
Cousins talked about his team following the win.
"We're still a team trying to grow and find ourselves," said Cousins, who
passed Vlade Divac for eighth place on the Sacramento-era all-time career list
Ben McLemore added 19 points for the Kings, who welcomed back guard Isaiah
Thomas. Thomas posted 14 points in 30 minutes and missed the previous 10 games
with a right quad contusion. Rudy Gay was sidelined with a lower back strain
and is questionable versus Phoenix.
The Kings are 3-8 in the last 11 games and 17-23 at home this season. They are
2-1 against the Suns this season and unbeaten in the past two meetings at
04/16 10:29:15 ET