Mon, 06 Feb 2023

Out-of-this-world Kings laser-focused on Suns

Field Level Media
28 Nov 2022, 09:19 GMT+10

The team with the biggest discrepancy in the NBA between home and road wins will attempt to shrink that gap when the Phoenix Suns visit the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

The Suns have won four in a row, all at home, to improve their record at Phoenix to 11-1. They are the winningest home teamin the NBA.

But Phoenix also has one of the worst road records in the NBA at 2-5, having lost their last three away from home. Their only road wins have come against the Los Angeles Clippers in October and the Minnesota Timberwolves almost three weeks ago.

Trips to Sacramento were generally enjoyable for the Suns last season, although their 2-0 road sweep didn't come easily, with the wins coming by a total of eight points, including one in overtime.

But that was when the Kings were en route to their 16th straight season without a playoff appearance. They could be on a different path this year, having opened 10-8 and just 2 1/2 games behind Phoenix's best-in-the-West pace.

The Kings have lost two straight, which came at the end of a tough three-game trip to Memphis, Atlanta and Boston that began with a win over the Grizzlies. Sacramento has won its last six home games after an 0-3 start.

The hot home start has brought Sacramento attention far and wide. Team owner Vivek Ranadive has overseen what he hopes to be a longtime Sacramento tradition: Purple laser beams shot into the sky from atop the arena following every home win.

"We toyed with different ideas," Ranadive said. "Do we light up the Capitol building? Do we light up (Tower Bridge)? What do we do? But we really wanted it emanating from our building. So there you have it. We now have the purple lights in the form of a beam that shoots into outer space.

"It goes farther than the human eye can see. As a tech guy, having four lasers beaming into outer space is kind of cool. I want aliens to see it."

The Kings already have lit up the Sacramento sky after impressive wins over the likes of the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets, the latter when Sacramento put up an efficient 153 points.

The Suns continue to be without Cam Johnson, out with torn meniscus in his right knee, but they were happy to welcome back key reserve Landry Shamet in their 113-112 home win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

Shamet had missed seven straight games with a concussion.

"You can get a lot of surgeries after you're done playing on your knees, ankles, joints, bones, whatever," Shamet said. "But you got one brain and one heart. You need to hit the brakes (sometimes)."

Shamet played 15 minutes off the bench in his return, hitting one of his two shots. He feasted on the Kings last season, putting up 21 points in a win at Sacramento in March before bettering that with a season-high 27 in a home loss in April.

--Field Level Media

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