While the Phoenix Suns would’ve preferred it be simple, the Sacramento Kings had no intention of letting Phoenix steal a road game.
The Suns couldn’t afford to walk away from Friday with a loss. Phoenix had loss five of the last six games coming into the meeting against Sacramento.
The game seemed to be in control for the Suns, until a strong run from the Kings in the third quarter.
In the end, the beatdown from the third quarter proved too much, with Phoenix falling 135-127 to Sacramento.
Ross and Landale Lead the Bench
Without Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton, the Suns would need some additional help from the role players once more on Friday.
Chris Paul was effective in the Suns’ pursuit of a win, but Phoenix found relief off the bench in Terrence Ross and Jock Landale.
Both players combined for 47 of the bench’s 68 points. Landale was able to aide in getting the Suns the lead early on in the contest. He finished the first half with 14 points and four rebounds.
Ross was able to find his stroke from outside as well, as he finished the game with 30 points on 6-of-10 shooting from three-point range.
Ross was able to give the Suns a fighting chance in the second half. Even with the loss, hope is there for Ross’ development with the reserves.
The Suns have been searching for an identity and dependability off the bench. With little time left, the hope is that both Ross and Landale can form the consistency needed from the reserves.
Third Quarter Meltdown
As time got to the four-minute mark of the third quarter, the Suns watched their lead diminish. Phoenix was down by 11 at that point, while initially being up by as much as 10 in the quarter.
The Suns also got careless with their possessions, allowing the Kings some easier baskets to extend their lead.
Phoenix did show a bit of determination towards the end of the quarter, but Sacramento had already sustained a lead to carry into the fourth quarter.
Phoenix was outscored 45-26 in the third quarter, creating a pivotal moment for the contest.
Ross’ heroics from the third and fourth quarter a positive sighting for the Suns. Still, dropping their six of their last seven games, doesn’t spell excitement as the playoffs near.
Phoenix won’t have much consistency in terms of scheduling for the remainder of the year. Up next will be the Philadelphia 76ers at home on Saturday before traveling to take on the Utah Jazz.
The Suns will have eight games remaining in the season after Saturday’s game contest.
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