National Basketball Association
Phoenix at Sacramento
When: 10:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California
The Phoenix Suns will look for a reason to get motivated for their regular-season finale Wednesday at Sacramento, two days after they were eliminated from the postseason for the fourth consecutive year. The Suns can finish off the best turnaround of the NBA season, as a win would give them 23 more victories than a year ago, and would also tie the 2007-08 Golden State team for the most wins by a team (48) without qualifying for the playoffs. Unfortunately, Phoenix now owns four of the top six all-time best records for non-playoff teams.
Goran Dragic, the leading scorer for the Suns this season, sat out the final game a year ago and the speedy point guard appears to be wearing down of late, sitting out a loss to the San Antonio Spurs last week with a sore ankle and then shooting 12-for-32 from the floor the past two games, also losses, while finishing well below his scoring average of 20.3 points. One player Phoenix won’t have to contend with is Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who is suspended for the game after picking up his 16th technical foul in Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. That likely means a lot more of 7-foot, 270-pound Aaron Gray in the middle.TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net Arizona (Phoenix), Comcast SportsNet California (Sacramento)ABOUT THE SUNS (47-34):
Gerald Green, Channing Frye and Marcus Morris will each appear in all 82 games if they suit up against the Kings, something none have accomplished in their careers. Green and Morris will finish with career-high scoring averages, with Green entering the season finale averaging 15.8 points, more than double what he put up in 60 games last season with the Indiana Pacers. All three players are signed through next season, with Frye owning a player option and Morris a club option.ABOUT THE KINGS (28-53):
Sacramento has two players on the verge of appearing in every game this season: rookie guard Ben McLemore and veteran forward Jason Thompson. McLemore has seen his minutes increase each of the last two months and he’s averaging 36.6 minutes in April heading into Wednesday. McLemore scored 19 points Sunday against Minnesota, his highest-scoring effort since putting up 20 against the Miami Heat on Dec. 20. BUZZER BEATERS
1. Phoenix and Sacramento played three times in the first six weeks of the season but haven’t met since Dec. 13.
2. Cousins will finish with career-best averages in points (22.7), rebounds (11.7), assists (2.9) and blocked shots (1.3).
3. Dragic will join LeBron James and Larry Bird as the only NBA players to average at least 20 points and five assists while shooting at least 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range in a season. PREDICTION
: Suns 114, Kings 101
Stats and Records