Suns center Alan Williams, who scored 14 points and had 11 rebounds, explains why he thinks he should have played better.
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Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum discuss how they were affected by playing with Suns coach Earl Watson, following Sunday’s Portland win over Phoenix. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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Suns guard Devin Booker discusses his game-winning play to beat the Mavericks in Dallas on Saturday. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Sarah McLellan and Doug Haller discuss the Suns’ loss to the Lakers, tanking for best possible draft pick and the Pac-12 basketball semifinals.
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Suns guard Devin Booker reacts to Thursday night’s loss to the Lakers.
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Suns guard Devin Booker talks about his team’s fight in Tuesday’s loss to the Wizards and the team’s attitude after P.J. Tucker was traded at the trade deadline. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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Shot Clock: Final Four contenders, Isaiah Thomas vs. Tyler Ulis and Taijuan Walker has a good outing for the Diamondbacks. Video: azcentral sports
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Phoenix Suns’ Tyler Ulis talks about his game-winning shot against the Celtics on Sunday, March 5, 2017. (Doug Haller/azcentral sports)
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Suns center Alan Williams discusses Friday night’s win over the Thunder.
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Broadcaster Al McCoy, “The Voice of the Suns” talks about his induction into the Suns Ring of Honor on Mar. 3, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz. By Rob Schumacher
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley break down the NBA MVP race and a possible reunion in the Cardinals defensive backfield.
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Jose Calderon made 415K for two hours and he didn’t even play. Veuer’s Nick Cardona explains why.
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This point guard is making his next inspirational move. Buzz60’s Emily Drooby (@emilydrooby) has the story.
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Former NBA player Eddie Johnson tells us who’s favored to win the NBA championship.
USA TODAY Sports
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PJ Tucker, after being traded by the Phoenix Suns to the Toronto Raptors said: “Phoenix has changed my life. All the people here, all the fans… I couldn’t ask for a better place.” Video: Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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Jay Dieffenbach and Doug Haller of azcentral sports talk about the Suns’ defensive future and the trade of P.J. Tucker to Toronto. Hannah Gaber/azcentral.com
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Phoenix Suns center Alan Williams watches his mother, Jeri Williams, sworn in as Phoenix police chief in Chesapeake Energy Arena. (Paul Coro/azcentral sports)
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Hosted by head coach Earl Watson, who says the Suns “embrace and celebrate our youth.” Video: Phoenix Suns
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Alan Williams on why he was disappointed in loss to Kings
Blazers guards Lillard, McCollum on Suns coach Watson
Suns’ Devin Booker on buzzer-beater to beat Mavericks
Shot Clock: Suns-Lakers, tanking, Pac-12 picks
Devin Booker on loss to Lakers
Devin Booker on Suns’ loss to Wizards
Shot Clock: Final Four contenders, Ulis vs. Thomas, Taijuan Walker
Suns’ Tyler Ulis on buzzer beater
Alan Williams on Suns’ win over Thunder
Broadcaster Al McCoy talks about his induction into the Suns Ring of Honor
Shot Clock: NBA MVP debate, Cardinals DBs
NBA player makes $415,000 for two hours
NBA star will donate $1,000 for every point and assist he makes
Are Cavaliers or Warriors favored to win NBA title?
PJ Tucker after being traded by Suns: ‘I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a tough day for me’
Suns’ trade of P.J. Tucker no big surprise
Alan Williams watching his mother’s police chief ceremony
Suns ’embrace youth’ in WeArePHX ‘Momentum’ video
Guard Eric Bledsoe, the Suns’ second-leading scorer, never got off the bench Wednesday night. Forward Skal Labissiere, the Kings 12th leading scorer, did.
Both those facts played large roles in the Kings beating the Suns, 107-101, at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The Suns, who shot just 40 percent, could have used Bledsoe, yet he missed only his second game of the season.
The first came in February, when he didn’t make the trip to Houston. He made the trip to downtown Phoenix on Wednesday night yet didn’t play, and coach Earl Watson suggested Bledsoe might not play again this season.
“Management decision,” Watson said when asked why Bledsoe sat. “I don’t think any coaching staff would hold ‘Bled’ out, but Tyler (Ulis) stepped up.”
Ulis did, finishing with 13 assists 13 points and only one turnover, but at least at this point in his career, Ulis is not Bledsoe.
“Bled’s been great, he had a great season, he played at a high level,” Watson said. “He’s been dominant all year. He’s taken a big leap in the right direction. There’s a lot of room for him to grow and he’s excited about that.”
Bledsoe, who was not available for comment, said last Saturday that he had some pain in his left knee, and azcentral sports Suns reporter Doug Haller confirmed he is done for the year. Left unsaid is that the resulting losses will help the Suns’ draft position.
Bledsoe’s absence wasn’t the only reason the Suns lost for the 46th time this season. Labissiere seared the Suns with 32 points, scoring 21 of them in the fourth quarter.
Labissiere’s previous career high was 15 points. For a game, not a quarter.
“I wasn’t surprised at all,” said Labissiere, who likely was the only one in the arena who could honestly say that. “I look forward to the future and I’m taking it game by game, watch a lot of film and spend a lot of time in the gym. It’s all about effort and the rest will come.”
BOX SCORE: Kings 107, Suns 101
The Suns couldn’t match up with Labissiere defensively, and they had no one on offense who could counter his scoring.
“He’s a unique player,” Watson said. “He has length (6-feet-11), he gets to a spot, he elevates. He jumps so quick and so high. His touch is right on point. He and Marquese can battle for the next 10, 15 years.”
Rookie forward Marquese Chriss was one of several Suns who struggled on offense. Chriss had been shooting better in recent weeks but he missed 6 of 8 3-point attempts.
Ulis made only 6 of 18 shots, and guard Devin Booker, the Suns leader scorer, went 6 for 26.
A handful of Suns, including Booker and Ulis, went to the team’s practice court after the game to work on their shots.
“I thought Devin Booker was aggressive but I thought sometimes he pressed,” Watson said. “But we know Devin Booker’s always going to find that momentum as he adjusts to the new lineup and his new options.”
That was another reference to Bledsoe’s absence, an adjustment that all of the Suns likely will have to make over the last 14 games of the season.
Their efforts on Wednesday were hindered by injuries and illness. Forward Derrick Jones Jr., suffered a nasty spill after a terrific blocked shot in the second quarter. X-rays were negative, but he didn’t return because of the hip contusion.
Guard Leandro Barbosa didn’t play in the second half because of illness, and with Brandon Knight (back spasms) and Bledsoe not playing, the Suns ran low on guards.
“At halftime I asked (owner Robert Sarver) if he would sign me for 10 days and he said, ‘Hell no,’” Watson said. “We had to play with what we have. Overall, we ran out of players in a rotation, guys played longer minutes.”
There were occasional flashes of hope in an otherwise dim evening for the Suns. In addition to Ulis, center Alan Williams played well off the bench, scoring finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
“We’re building for the future,” Williams said. “That’s what we’re focusing on right now and we know that it’s going to be special.”
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