SACRAMENTO KINGS

Phoenix Suns stars have high praise for Kings, Golden 1 Center atmosphere

Nov 29, 2022, 2:47 PM | Updated: 5:28 pm
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns is guarded by KZ Okpala #...
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The tides are turning in Sacramento, and opposing teams are beginning to take notice.

Sure, the Kings dropped a hard-fought contest to the Phoenix Suns on Monday night at Golden 1 Center, but several members of the Suns spoke highly of the team that they faced, and the environment was created by the fans in attendance.

Phoenix center Deandre Ayton told the media that the Suns started using sign language late in the game as the decibel level increased with each big play from the Kings.

“I thought it was a playoff game,” Ayton said of the atmosphere during Monday’s game. “It was so loud in there, you have no idea. I couldn’t hear myself, I couldn’t hear coach. We just started doing sign language and hopefully we got the right call or the right communication.”

Ayton, who finished the night with 17 points on eight-of-10 shooting from the field to go along with 12 rebounds, wasn’t the only player to praise Sacramento as All-Star guard Devin Booker complimented the Kings on their high-powered offense.

“I think they’re playing some of the best offense in the NBA right now,” Booker said. “De’Aaron [Fox] is playing really well. [Domantas] Sabonis is making plays for everybody. [Kevin] Huerter [is] making every shot he takes. They have weapons out there and they play well together and they’re playing hard.”

Booker, who torched the Kings defense for 44 points (17-of-28 shooting from the field) noted that the Sacramento is further along as a postseason contender than the Suns were during his first couple of seasons in the league.

“They’re in a better place than we were,” Booker said. “We didn’t have no game win streak. I didn’t win three games in a row until about my fifth season. Different situation but they have something brewing here that everyone should be excited about.”

“I mean, Fox has always been one of the best players in the league. They added a top-tier center. Harrison is one of the best forwards in the league, he’s versatile,” Williams said postgame. “But then you see the development of some of their younger guys. Monk and [Kevin] Huerter, they give you a different look. Those guys can shoot the ball, they can get to the basket, they can play off the dribble. And they’re all tough. This is not an easy place to win. It never has been, but now it’s like you’re looking at a playoff team, in my estimation, just because they have everything. They can post you up. They can play in pick-and-roll and they have shooters everywhere.”

The Kings still have a lot of work to do before April’s postseason play begins. Still, they are turning heads around the league just 19 games into the season thanks to solid play from their stars in Fox and Sabonis, plus positive contributions from their new pieces in Huerter and Monk.

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