Kings coach George Karl sat down for his postgame media session ready to talk about one player – Seth Curry.
“Man, he had a highlight game,” Karl said. “A highlight show in one game.”
Curry wowed with his shooting again, but also put on a passing clinic, getting career-high 15 assists as the Kings defeated the Phoenix Suns, 105-101, Monday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Curry’s previous best for assists was five, which he’d done twice. He became the first King with a 20-point, 15-assist showing since Beno Udrih had 20 points and 17 assists March 21, 2010 in a 102-89 road win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The latter part of the season has been a chance for Curry to showcase his skills, which he never doubted he had as he spent his first two seasons bouncing around the NBA on 10-day contracts and in the NBA Development League.
“People who have actually watched me know I can do this and have seen this before,” Curry said. “Whether it was in the D-League, summer league, whatever the case may be. I’m just trying take the opportunities that I get and show who I am. This isn’t anything new to me, it’s just good to get out there and get some minutes.”
Curry, who played 38 minutes, started at point guard because the Kings top-two point guards, Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison, did not travel with the team as the front office has decided to rest them for the final two games of the season.
“I had the ball, I was able to make some plays, show a different part of my game,” Curry said. “Guys did a good job of screening for me, hitting shots.”
Curry, who at 6-foot-2, is seen as a shooting guard in a point guard’s body, showed he can run a team as well as being a scorer.
“We talked about how we needed to get some passing and Seth jumped up and gave them some solid passes, some spectacular passes,” Karl said. “He made some great decisions and that shot at the end (to put the Kings up 100-94 with 54 seconds left) was a big time shot. I’m really happy for him, he’s put in a lot of work. I’m sure this is very satisfying to him.”
Curry had good synergy with center Kosta Koufos (19 points, eight rebounds), who started for DeMarcus Cousins who is also not on the trip for rest.
“We’re telepathically talking to each other,” Koufos said. “No, I’m just kidding. I just set some screens for him, he’s a heck of a player and he can do it all. He can shoot the ball, pass the ball, he’s got a bright future in front of him.”
Rudy Gay scored 15 points and had six rebounds and four blocked shots.
Curry shot and passed well (8 of 14) and had just two turnovers.
The win over the injury-riddled Suns was the Kings’ 15th on the road this season, the most since the Kings (33-48) won 17 on the road in the 2005-06 season.
Mirza Teletovic led Phoenix (22-59) with 26 points off the bench. Rookie guard Devin Booker had 22 points and Alex Len had 16 points and 12 rebounds.