The struggling Phoenix Suns look to halt their six-game losing streak when they host the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. Phoenix has recorded just nine wins at the season's midway point and is on pace to finish with fewer than 20 for just the second time in franchise history.
Devin Booker has been the bright spot for the Suns, but he is questionable for the contest after leaving Sunday's loss to Charlotte with back spasms. The guard's availability will be determined either at the mid-day shootaround or closer to game time, depending on the level of soreness he is feeling. Sacramento snapped its four-game slide with a solid 111-95 home win over Orlando on Monday in which it led by 28 points entering the final quarter. "We definitely needed that," Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox told reporters after scoring 20 points and matching his career best of five steals. "We have given a few of the previous games away, and it was good for us to take control."
TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBCS California (Sacramento), FS Arizona (Phoenix) LINE: Kings -3.5
ABOUT THE KINGS (20-20): Prized rookie Marvin Bagley III returned from an 11-game absence due to a knee injury to contribute eight points and six rebounds in 20 minutes against Orlando. Coach Dave Joerger was unsure if he will play Bagley on the back end of consecutive games, but the No. 2 overall draft pick professed his knee is 100 percent after Monday's performance. "My game is getting up and down fast and creating for my teammates," Bagley told reporters. "I felt like I was able to do that."
ABOUT THE SUNS (9-32): Booker was limited to 54 games last season due to injuries and already has missed 10 this campaign as his durability is becoming a concern. First-year coach Igor Kokoskov denies that the issue is becoming troublesome, but it is clear his squad is deeply affected when it's missing a player who is averaging 24.8 points and 6.9 assists. "There is no frustration - that's just the basketball game," Kokoskov told reporters after Monday's practice. "He has to invest a lot of time and everything else in his body and understand that he's got to be in top shape."
1. Kings SG Buddy Hield scored 20 points in a 122-105 road win over the Suns on Dec. 4.
2. Phoenix SF Josh Jackson scored a season-best 22 points in the loss to Charlotte.
3. Sacramento SG Iman Shumpert (right index finger) could miss his third straight game.
PREDICTION: Kings 119, Suns 115 Bet Now
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