There are few players in the NBA off to a better start to the 2021-22 season than Harrison Barnes, as the veteran wing has come out firing to start his 10th season in the league. Through four games, Barnes is averaging 26.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game for the 2-2 Sacramento Kings, posting an outrageous 51.4/51.5/78.3 shooting split.
At some point, Barnes will cool off at least a touch, but for now he is engulfed in flames and is seventh in the league in scoring per game, tied with last year’s MVP Nikola Jokic. Wednesday night was not the night for Barnes’ hot streak to end, as the Phoenix Suns learned the hard way when he had 22 points, nine rebounds, and four assists to help keep the Kings in lock step with the reigning Western Conference champs.
Tied at 107-107 with under two seconds to play, the Kings had a sideline out for the final possession of regulation and ran an action to get Barnes and Buddy Hield working off of each other to let De’Aaron Fox pick the best option. He chose Barnes as he came towards the ball rather than Hield working towards the middle of the floor, and that proved to be the correct choice.
It was great defense from Devin Booker, but there was just nothing more he could do once Barnes rose and fired, knocking down the winner on the road. For the Kings as a whole, it’s a big win as they continue trying to learn how to finish these types of games off — the next step for them in becoming a real playoff contender. We’ll see how long Barnes can keep up this kind of offensive level, but until he shows signs of slowing down, Sacramento will keep feeding him and seeing how far he can take them.