Kings Under Review: Marvin Bagley Takes Game to New Heights Against Suns

SACRAMENTO -- Taking care of business. The Sacramento Kings finished their season-long six-game homestand Sunday evening with another victory to finish the block at 5-1.

Led by the hot shooting of Devin Booker and a late surge from rookie Deandre Ayton, the Suns made it interesting in the fourth. Sacramento rode a career night from rookie Marvin Bagley and received solid contributions up and down the roster to pull out the 117-104 win.

The victory pushed the Kings four games over the .500 mark at 30-26 with just one game remaining before the All-Star break. Here are the positives and the negatives from the win.


The Breakout

Taken with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Bagley has been waiting for his moment to shine. Maybe he was just waiting for his first official game against the Suns, the team that passed on him and selected Ayton No. 1 overall.

The 19-year-old big went to work early and often against Phoenix. He hit his jumper, took players off the dribble and ran the floor like a gazelle.

In 32 minutes of action, Sacramento's prized rookie posted a career-high 32 points on 10-of-15 from the field and 11-for-13 from the line. He added seven rebounds, as well as an assist, block and steal in the Kings' win.

Bagley adds a different element to the Kings lineup and his teammates did an excellent job of feeding the 6-foot-11 inch leaper.


Speed Kills

De'Aaron Fox loves to run. Against the Suns, he turned on the jets and opened up the entire game for both himself and his teammates.

The Suns countered his attack by trying to isolate him against Devin Booker on the defensive end. Initially, it worked with Fox getting in early foul trouble, but the Kings' starter made adjustments.

Fox stuffed the stat sheet, finishing the night with 17 points, nine assists, six rebounds, and two steals. Although he's cooled off slightly from his hot start early season, the 21-year-old guard continues to drive the Kings pace of play.



When the Kings drafted Willie Cauley-Stein with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, it was with the understanding that he had the ability to defend the rim.

In his fourth NBA season, he's gotten away from being a shot blocker, but over the last two games, he's made an adjustment.

After not blocking a shot in five straight and eight of his previous nine contests, Cauley-Stein has eight over his last two games, including a five against the Suns. The fourth-year big added 10 points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

Sacramento could really use someone to play goalie. If it's not Cauley-Stein, the team will need to look for a different answer during the offseason


Hanging Around

Sacramento led wire-to-wire, including a 25-point advantage in the third quarter and a 20-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the fourth.

While the game was never in doubt, the Kings also never truly put the Suns away. Phoenix pulled to within 12 on multiple occasions in the fourth and Dave Joerger was forced to leave most of his first unit on the floor.

[RELATED: Vlade Divac's growth into GM job has Kings heading in right direction]

The Kings came into the night 9.5 point favorites and they won by 13. It was their fifth win in six chances on the homestand and they're just a half game out of the eighth spot.

Saying all of that, the game could have gone a different way against a better team. Sacramento needs to find a killer instinct and learn to put teams away completely.

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