PHOENIX 129, KINGS 81
PHOENIX - Shaq wants to bottle it up and go forward. The energy, the execution, the endless fun.
"I said that a couple of weeks ago, that if we could bottle this up then we have a chance," he said after the Kings eclipse had set in late Monday night at US Airways Center.
As for these Kings, this is one to bottle up and toss in that vast ocean of defeat. It's not the first, though, and that's the problem. It's the twelfth, at minimum, since they have lost by 20 or more 12 times at this point. It's the sixth time to this type of degree, as they have lost by 30 or more six times. And it's no wonder the Kings have no All-Stars in the upcoming Phoenix affair, what with the way they treat defense like it's an unnecessary part of the event and all.
We keep adding the numbers because they just keep piling up: 12 straight games of 100-plus points, with an average in that span of 120 points per game for Kings opponents. And because Bobby Jackson (who missed the game for personal reasons) was the only Kings player not named Kenny Thomas to not play tonight, we'll let him pontificate about this situation with relevant insight. After the Kings were routed in Boston to end their recent road trip, this was how he responded when asked if the Kings had any plans on defending anyone the rest of the season.
"I don't think so," he said. "We don't have it. Everybody's motor is totally different. Until you get everybody on the same page, with everybody talking on defense, with you knowing your personnel and their strong points and their weak points and coming out not worrying about how many shots you're getting or when you're coming out the game. ... Because we all do it, but we're going to continue to struggle. It's just frustrating being in this situation."
* Beno Udrih returned to the bench almost as quickly as he had returned to action. The Kings point guard who missed Sunday's game with a left calf contusion played just 23 minutes and was once again underwhelming with four points (2-of-7 shooting), one assists and three turnovers.
* Needless to say, the Suns were off and running from the start as they hit their first six shots. It was a layup fest capped by a Jason Richardson three that put them up 13-5 just 2:28 into play.
* Twenty-six turnovers in all, eight in the first quarter (a combined seven from John Salmons, Kevin Martin and Jason Thompson).
* You've got to think Reggie Theus and Chuck Person were watching this game and thinking back to the last time these teams met. - Sam Amick