Suns looking for fourth win in a row

Nov 19, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) reaches for the ball against Phoenix Suns shooting guard Gerald Green (14) during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Sacramento Kings defeated the Phoenix Suns 107-104. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 19, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) reaches for the ball against Phoenix Suns shooting guard Gerald Green (14) during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Sacramento Kings defeated the Phoenix Suns 107-104. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Following a close win over the Lakers, Phoenix hosts the Sacramento Kings Friday night. The Suns are looking to win a fourth game in a row and avenge two close losses to Sacramento in mid-November.

The 6-14 Kings come into Friday night’s game having won the first two meetings of the season but are coming off a loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. DeMarcus Cousins averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds in the first two games and will be the main focus of the Suns defense. Isaiah Thomas also had success in the first couple meetings as he had a solid performance averaging 21 points per game with a 58.3 field goal percentage. The recent acquisition of Rudy Gay from the Toronto Raptors will certainly impact Friday night’s game; Gay scored 17 points and 10 rebounds in his only game against the Suns on Dec. 6.

Key Matchup:

Miles Plumlee versus DeMarcus Cousins.  Cousins has owned the paint against the Suns in the first two meetings; Cousins has averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds per game in two close contests. Plumlee has improved in the shot-blocking department as of late but will need to use every bit of his 6 feet 11 inches Friday night to stop Boogie Cousins from scoring.

Key stat:

Points in the paint. The Kings outscored the Suns in points in the paint. The Kings had a total of 96 points in the paint while the Suns had 86 in the first two meetings. Plumlee and the Morris bros. will need to limit those points in the paint in order to come out on top.

What the Suns offense needs to look for:

Attack the rim. The Suns lost the points in the paint battle in its first two games against the Kings. Having Bledsoe and Dragic attack the basket will solve that issue. They will need to be more aggressive in order to get their first win against the Kings this season

What the Suns defense needs to look out for:

Don’t let Isaiah get hot. Thomas silently averaged 21 points in the first two meetings and will look to be a solid contributor again for the Kings Friday night.

Sacramento King’s sleeper to have a good game:

Rookie Ben McLemore shot 40 percent from the 3-point line in his first game against the Suns on Nov. 19 making a total of four in the game; he could be the sleeper of the game if he can continue to be efficient from the 3-point line.

Prediction: Suns win a close one over the Kings 110-105 with Bledsoe and Dragic leading the way attacking the basket.

 

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Tags: Basketball Demarcus Cousins Eric Bledsoe Game Previews Goran Dragic Isaiah Thomas Miles Plumlee NBA Phoenix Suns

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