Monday, January 3, 2011 at 7:35 a.m.
Vince Carter: Now 1-2 as a Sun after a loss to the Kings
A rookie on the NBA's worst team had the best game of his young career on Sunday night as the Sacramento Kings dumped the Phoenix Suns 94-89 in Sacramento. DaMarcus Cousins, who was the fifth overall draft pick in 2010 NBA Draft, finally showed the league what he is capable of with a 28-point, six-assist night against the listless Suns.
The Kings improved to 7-24 (with the win, still the NBA's worst record) while the Suns fell to 14-18 and continued to look less and less like a playoff team -- even with their 92-75 win at home on New Year's Eve against the go-nowhere Detroit Pistons.
And last Wednesday, they were knocked off at home by another sub.-.500 team, the Philadelphia 76ers, who beat the Suns 123-110 in what was the debut of former stud Vince Carter, who was recently acquired in a trade on December 18 for Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu. Carter scored 18 points on less-than-stellar 8-for-20 shooting.
Against the Pistons and Kings, the 33-year-old Carter racked up 19 points and 17 points, respectively, and pulled down eight rebounds against the Pistons. In his three games as a Sun, Carter has yet to shoot over 50 percent from the floor.
Meanwhile on Sunday, Steve Nash scored 23 points and dished out 12 assists. Reserve power forward Marcin Gortat chipped in 16 points in 36 minutes, and Grant Hill, playing in his 900th NBA game, added 13 points. But overall, the Suns shot poorly, hitting only 40 percent of their shots as Mickael Pietrus went 3-for-12, Jared Dudley 2-for-9, and Channing Frye went 1-for-7.
"Tonight, we just missed some shots at the end and some wide-open threes," Nash said after the game. "Our offense had some good looks, we just didn't make them."
On Wednesday, the Suns will return home to face the Los Angeles Lakers, who are dominating the Western Conference's Pacific Division with a 23-11 record. The Suns are 1-1 against the Lakers this year, losing at home and shocking the defending champs 121-116 on the road on November 14. Tip off: 8:30 p.m. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. TV: ESPN. More info: www.suns.com