Kings-Suns Matchday Live: Chris Paul, Cameron Johnson Updates


Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis (10) scores two points and is fouled in the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA basketball game Thursday, November 17, 2022 at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

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The Kings are happy to be home after a cross-country trip through Memphis, Atlanta and Boston amid the hustle and bustle of the Thanksgiving trip.

They missed their beds and their victory beam, the purple laser that shines over the Golden 1 Center every time they win a game.

The Kings will play three of their next four games at home starting Monday when they entertain the Phoenix Suns. The Indiana Pacers attend a return game for former Kings Guards Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton on Wednesday. Then there’s a brief trip to Southern California to face the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday before returning to Sacramento to play the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.

The Kings (10-8) are losing to the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics back-to-back after winning their last seven games, their longest winning streak since 2004.

The Suns (13-6) have won four straight games, including Saturday’s 113-112 win over the Utah Jazz, despite Chris Paul’s absence. The veteran point guard has missed the last nine games – and was ruled out against the Kings – after beating the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 7 with an injury described as pain in his right heel.

The Kings opened their road trip with an impressive 113-109 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, but then suffered a 115-106 loss to the Hawks and a 122-104 loss to the Celtics. The Kings bounced back from a big deficit in Boston to take a six-point lead in the third quarter, but the fatigue was evident as they battled their way down the track and played their third game in four nights against the NBA’s top team.

Sacramento will be tested again against the Suns, who have the best record in the Western Conference. They are 11th in the NBA in scoring (114.6 ppg) and fifth in goal defense (107.7). Three-time All-Star Devin Booker averages 27.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists while shooting 47.3% from the field and 37.4% from 3-point range. He also converts 86.7% of his free throws on 6.3 attempts per game.

The Pacers (11-7) will also present a challenge. They are fourth in the Eastern Conference, trailing only the Celtics, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They are seventh in scoring (116.6) and 20th in goal defense (114.3).

The Pacers had won six out of seven in their back-to-back encounters with the Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers Sunday through Monday. Haliburton, Hield, rookie Bennedict Mathurin and center Myles Turner were outstanding for Indiana.

Haliburton and Hield went to Indiana last season in the trade that brought Domantas Sabonis to Sacramento. Haliburton averages 19.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 11.1 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 48.3% from the field and 37.8% from 3-point range for the Pacers. Hield averages 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 38.8% from 3-point range on 9.9 attempts per game.

Suns at Kings

When: 19 o’clock

Where: Golden 1 middle

TV: NBC Sports California

radio: Saktown Sports 1140


over under:TBD

injury report

Suns: AUS – Chris Paul (heel); Cameron Johnson (meniscus); Jae Crowder (not with team).

Kings: OUT – Keon Ellis (G League); Chima Moneke (League G); Neemias Queta (League G).

upcoming schedule

Nov. 28 vs. Phoenix Suns

November 30 vs. Indiana Pacers

December 3 at the Los Angeles Clippers

December 4 against the Chicago Bulls

December 7 at Milwaukee Bucks

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Jason Anderson is an award-winning sportswriter for The Sacramento Bee. He began his journalism career at The Bee more than 20 years ago and returned in September 2018 to cover the Sacramento Kings.