Game Thread: Suns To Kick Off Preseason vs. Kings

Nov 20, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) boxes out Phoenix Suns forward P.J Tucker (17) at US Airways Center. The Kings defeated the Suns 113-106. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) boxes out Phoenix Suns forward P.J Tucker (17) at US Airways Center. The Kings defeated the Suns 113-106. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports /

Game Thread:

10:08 — Sorry folks, we had some technical difficulties on our end, but the Suns won their season opener 102-98. Jon Leuer led the way with a 17-13 double-double and for once, an opposing team’s buzzer-beater attempt didn’t go in against the Suns. Check back soon for the recap and postgame coverage!

9:10 — Sun committing turnovers, preventing them from putting a run together. Kings up 93-86, timeout on the floor.

9:08 — Marco Belinelli loses his man (Devin Booker) on a screen and gets fouled by Leuer while shooting a jumper. The bucket’s good, Kings go up 91-84 on the three-point play

9:06 — Ouch…

9:05 — Timeout on the floor, Suns trail 88-82 with 8:28 left in the game. Only Cory Jefferson and Kyle Casey have yet to check into the game for the Suns

9:02 — Henry Sims checks in for the first time to give Len a breather. Kings up 87-81

9:00 — Ronnie Price is out here shooting jumpers and threes to start the fourth quarter…so yeah, that’s how this preseason game is going. Kings up 86-81 now.

8:58 — A quick look at the stat sheet heading into the fourth:

8:57 — End of the third quarter: Suns 76, Kings 79

8:55 — It’s the Rudy Gay Show here in Phoenix. He has 27 points and is draining every three in sight. Kings go back up 78-76

8:52 — Here’s a look at that Knight-to-Tyson alley-oop:

8:51 — Rudy Gay probably got fouled by Terrico White on a made three-point attempt, but no call. Game tied at 73, timeout on the floor.

8:49 — Darren Collison tied the game at 70 with a jumper, but Knight answered with a smooth three out of the pick-and-roll

8:48 — Knight just airballed a jumper, but Scorin’ Warren bailed him out by soaring in from out of nowhere for the put-back

8:45 — That one didn’t get called back. Brandon Knight sees Tyson Chandler streaking down the lane and pointing to the rim, finds him for the alley-oop over the defense. Suns up 68-65, timeout on the floor.

8:43 — Markieff Morris has struggled in his first game of the season. Cauley-Stein’s length is bothering him, he’s missing open shots, turning the ball over. Good thing it’s only preseason!

8:40 — Hold on to your hats, we’ve got a Terrace White sighting. His first shot is an airball.

8:38 — Bledsoe three-point play gives the Suns a 62-58 lead. Bledsoe bulked up this summer, but looks as quick as ever still. Then he hits a jumper to extend the lead to six

8:36 — Gotta love the home fans near media row

8:35 — Bledsoe three is answered by Gay’s tripping three-point play. Suns down 58-57

8:32 — Rough call. First Bledsoe-to-Chandler highlight alley-oop of the season is called off by a charging foul on Bledsoe.

8:30 — Couldn’t hear what was said first, but it sounded like Boogie said “What’s up with that?” while laughing at the scorer’s table in reference to the Leuer dunk

8:29 — Second half is underway now! Kings lead 53-52, same starters for both teams

8:26 — Something to watch in the second half: Boogie was pretty pissed after Leuer put him on a poster and demanded the ball down low for the rest of the second quarter. Let’s see if tempers flare back up after Leuer checks back in

8:21 — The Suns’ starters didn’t play particularly well, but the bench provided a huge boost in the first half:

8:17 — Another look at that Jon Leuer poster. Now I understand why he was wearing a Superman cape on Media Day!

8:16 — Cousins leads the Kings with 15 points and eight rebounds, Rudy Gay still has 14. Jon Leuer leads the Suns with nine points and seven rebounds, but also has four fouls. Warren and Knight have eight points each

8:13 — HALFTIME: Suns 52, Kings 53

8:11: — Here’s a look at that Jon Leuer poster on DeMarcus Cousins. My word.

8:09 — Epileptics beware. You might see this a lot this season:

8:08 — Devin Booker makes his first official NBA three-pointer! Suns tied with Sacramento 50-50

8:07 — Boogie strikes back with a three-point play, knocking Leuer to the ground and flexing afterward. But it’s too late; Suns Nation is already obsessed.

8:05 — Bold prediction: Jon Leuer might be a fan favorite this season.

8:04 — OH MY GOD. JON LEUER NEEDS TO BE LOCKED UP. You’ll see that dunk on Sportscenter tonight! Brought Talking Stick Arena to its feet…in a preseason game!

8:03 — Crazy play going on right now. Hornacek damn near stomped his way to half court after he thought Leuer was fouled down low on a putback attempt

8:00 — Leuer follows it up with a three and then a three-point play to give the Suns a 42-40 lead (he missed the FT)! This funky all-reserve lineup is working for Phoenix:


7:57 — Phoenix’s bench could be a factor this season. Warren (8 points), Len (6 points, five rebounds, one block) having an immediate impact off the pine

7:55 — Timeout Suns. The score is 38-35 with 7:06 left in the second quarter.

7:51 — Jon Leuer checks into the game. Still no Archie, but Warren cuts the lead to 38-35

7:48 — Alex Len looks active out there. He’s grabbing boards and sealing people down low for easy buckets. That extra muscle looks like it’s doing him some good. Kings up 38-33 with just under nine minutes left in the second quarter.

7:46 — On the ensuing fast break, Warren provided the fans with their first highlight of the year. One-handed monster slam!

7:46 — Devin Booker sighting! The Suns rookie checks into the game before Archie Goodwin to start the second quarter, but misses his first three

7:43 — Suns only down 32-27 at the end of the first quarter after going on an 11-0 run to close out the period. Brandon Knight looking really good out there, knocking down shots and facilitating.

7:40 — Ah yes, Jeff from the Hornacheck Republic

7:38 — Rudy Gay is burying the Suns from three-point range, already has 14 points. Also, it seems Boogie is not shy about shooting three-pointers this year

7:36 — Alex Len also picks up his second foul. He’ll need to cut down on that this season, even coming off the bench.

7:36 — Who said preseason was useless?

7:33 — Sacramento calls timeout. Suns down 27-16 with 3:27 left in the first quarter. Phoenix pretty rusty, Kings might be benefitting from having already played their preseason opener?

7:33 — Teletovic checks in for Keef as back-to-back baskets for the Suns cut the lead to 27-16

7:30 — Keef looks active on the defensive end. He’s putting in work against Boogie down low

7:28 — The Suns’ strategy of leaving Willie Trill open for punishing dunks does not seem to be working.

7:27 — Kings earn a delay of game warning after Willie Cauley-Stein punishes the rim with a one-handed dunk. Alex Len and Sonny Weems check in

7:25 — Kings up 19-10 after Brandon Knight drains a three

7:23 — Keef certainly isn’t shy about trying to win back the fan support. He’s shooting it every time he gets it. T.J. Warren is the first sub in off the bench.

7:21 — Hornacek has seen enough and calls timeout. Suns down 16-4 with 7:54 left in the first quarter. Kings looking pretty crisp in their second preseason game.

7:20 — Bledsoe picks up his second foul four minutes into the game. Hooray for preseason!

7:18 — Markieff Morris looks a little rusty, starting 0-for-3, but got a nice little cheer from the crowd after a blocked shot

7:17 — Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore and Boogie have combined for three three-pointers so far. Yes, you read that right. Sacramento up 11-2

7:16: — Not a great start for the Suns. Bledsoe gets the scoring started, but Kings up 8-2 early

7:14 — Bledsoe jumped to pass on a fast break, someone in the crowd shouted, “Just like last year, Bledsoe!”

7:13: — And we’re underway!

7:10 — Not a packed house tonight, but hardly anybody booed when Markieff Morris’ name was announced for the starting lineups

7:09 — R.I.P. Neal Walk

7:02 — Ex-Suns Caron Butler and Seth Curry on the floor for Sacramento tonight. Remember that time Butler modeled the new Suns jerseys and was gone like five seconds later?

6:58 — Ex-Grizzlies sharing some love. Also, where does one get one of those Suns warmups? My goodness.

6:55 — Gerald Bourguet here. I’ll be handling tonight’s game thread for the Suns’ preseason opener against the Sacramento Kings! Per head coach Jeff Hornacek, there will be no surprises for tonight’s starting lineup: Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris and Tyson Chandler.


Phoenix Suns (0-0) vs. Sacramento Kings (1-0)
When: Wed Oct. 7, 2015 @ 7 p.m.
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ


It’s been five years since the Phoenix Suns made the playoffs. Though their preseason home opener against the Sacramento Kings won’t count toward their regular season win or loss total, the Suns will be looking to start their 2015-16 campaign off on the right foot against a team that’s gotten the best of them in recent years.

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In the Jeff Hornacek era, the Suns have gone 3-5 in the regular season against the Kings, a team that has been a consistent presence in the draft lottery for years now. With DeMarcus Cousins and the new-look Kings in town, both teams will be working on building chemistry with new teammates.

In a contest that might as well serve as a Kentucky reunion between Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Archie Goodwin, Devin Booker, Boogie, Rajon Rondo and Willie Cauley-Stein, the Suns look to win their third straight preseason opener. Here are three things to keep an eye on in the first official game of the 2015-16 season — and the first NBA game ever played at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Three Things To Watch:

1. Boogie vs. Tyson – Last season, DeMarcus Cousins averaged an astounding 24.1 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. Against the Suns, those numbers jumped to 25.7 points, 13.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.7 blocks and 0.7 steals per game on 51.7 percent shooting. Simply put, Phoenix had no answer for him inside.

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  • Cousins may be gunning for an MVP award this season, but Tyson ain’t chicken. With Tyson Chandler in the middle, Boogie will at least face a little more resistance in the paint this time around. Chandler is unlikely to play for very long in a preseason game, but how Phoenix’s defensive anchor does against one of the best centers in the league is worth monitoring.

    2. The Suns’ Rook – Most of the time, you learn more about the fringe rotation players and rookies in preseason play than you do about the regular starters. Bearing that in mind, most Suns fans will be tuning in to examine how 18-year-old rook Devin Booker performs in his first NBA game.

    Will Booker have any nerves to shake off, or will he continue to impress his elders with poise and maturity? Will he come out guns blazing off the bench, or will it be a quiet day for the player that fans want to see light it up more than anything? WELCOME TO THE EXCITEMENT OF PRESEASON!

    3. Who’s Coming Off The Bench First? – Booker might be the player most fans are intrigued to watch come off the bench, but we might learn something about Hornacek’s intended rotations based on who checks in first. These are meaningless preseason games, but we may get a glimpse of what Hornacek envisions as his go-to rotation to start the year.

    Is Sonny Weems still going to be the first guard off the bench over Booker and Archie Goodwin? How much run time will P.J. Tucker get with the starters before T.J. Warren checks in? How much playing time will Jon Leuer earn with Mirza Teletovic available? We might have a better idea about the answers to these questions after tonight’s game.

    Fun Fact:

    Following their Western Conference Finals appearance in 2010, the Suns began their 2010-11 campaign with a preseason loss against the Kings. Phoenix would go on to miss the playoffs and has not made it back since. In that five-year span, the Suns have played Sacramento four times in the preseason and posted a 1-3 record, including two losses in preseason openers.

    Game Thread:

    Check back at 7 p.m. Arizona time tonight for our Valley of the Suns game thread with live updates from the arena!

    Next: 5 Steps To Markieff Morris Redeeming Himself

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