Kings vs. Suns: Bradley Beal, Chris Duarte, Sasha Vezenkov injury news; scouting reports

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The Kings will face the masked version of Bradley Beal when they visit the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday at Footprint Center in a nationally televised game on TNT.

This is a key Western Conference showdown with just a half-game separating the Kings and Suns. They are among a group of four teams, all within one game of each other, who are vying for the fifth and sixth seeds in the West. The Suns are currently sixth. The Kings are seventh.

The Suns (31-22) are listing Beal as available for Tuesday’s game despite a nasal fracture. Beal has worn a protective mask since breaking his nose while taking a charge from Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner on Jan. 26.

Beal struggled in his first four games with the mask, going 20 of 58 (.345) from the field and 3 of 24 (.125) from 3-point range. However, over the past four games, he has made 44 of 80 (.550) field-goal attempts and 13 of 26 (.500) from beyond the arc.

The Kings (30-22) have ruled Sasha Vezenkov out due to a right ankle sprain. Vezenkov recently returned after missing seven games with an injury to the same ankle. A league source told The Sacramento Bee Vezenkov is expected to be sidelined for “a few weeks” after reinjuring the ankle at practice Saturday.

Kings guard Chris Duarte, who is also dealing with a right ankle sprain, has been upgraded to questionable for Tuesday’s game. Duarte has missed the past three games after spraining the ankle before Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons.

The Kings have lost three of their past four games. The up-and-down nature of their season was on full display over the past three games with an inexplicable 133-120 loss to the Detroit Pistons, a 135-106 rout of the defending champion Denver Nuggets and a 127-113 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Suns won five of six before suffering a 113-112 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Stephen Curry’s game-winning 3-pointer. They have gone 12-4 since Jan. 11 with Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Beal healthy.

This will be the fourth of five meetings between the Kings and Suns. They were originally scheduled to face each other four times before in-season tournament pairings resulted in an additional matchup.

The Kings beat the Suns 114-106 on Dec. 8 in Phoenix and 120-105 on Dec. 22 in Sacramento. The Suns trailed by 22 points before ending the game with a 23-4 run in a 119-117 victory over the Kings on Jan. 16 in Phoenix.

Scouting Sacramento

De’Aaron Fox is averaging 26.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.8 steals. Fox averaged 31.3 points in October, 30.4 points in November and 29.3 points in December before his scoring dipped to 22.5 points per game in January and 21.2 in February.

Domantas Sabonis averages 19.9 points, 13.2 rebounds and 8.3 assists. He leads the league in rebounding, double-doubles (48) and triple-doubles (17) while ranking sixth in assists. He has recorded 35 consecutive double-doubles with nine triple-doubles in the past 14 games.

Sixth Man of the Year candidate Malik Monk is averaging 15.2 points and 5.3 assists. Keegan Murray averages 15.2 points and 5.3 rebounds. Harrison Barnes (12.1 ppg), Kevin Huerter (10.9 ppg) and Trey Lyles (7.7 ppg) are also playing important roles.

Scouting Phoenix

Durant and Booker are Phoenix’s most explosive scorers and best all-around players. Durant is averaging 28.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists. Booker averages 28.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists.

Beal is averaging 18.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists. Beal scored 43 points in a win over the Washington Wizards on Feb. 4. He had 30 points in Thursday’s win over the Utah Jazz.

Grayson Allen (12.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.1 apg), Eric Gordon (12.3 ppg) and Jusuf Nurkic (11.9 ppg, 10.2 rpg) are also scoring in double figures. Allen scored 29 points in Phoenix’s last game against Sacramento.

Update on Sasha

The Kings announced Tuesday that Vezenkov suffered a grade-3 ankle sprain when he went down at practice Saturday. He will be reevaluated in four to six weeks.

Status updates

The Kings are now listing Duarte as available for Tuesday’s game against the Suns. However, forward Trey Lyles is now questionable due to illness.

Kings at Suns

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Footprint Center

TV: TNT

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

Odds: Suns -4.5

Over/under: 243.5

Injury report

Kings: QUESTIONABLE — Chris Duarte (ankle). OUT — Sasha Vezenkov (ankle); Jordan Ford (G League); Mason Jones (G League); Jalen Slawson (G League).

Suns: AVAILABLE — Bradley Beal (nose). OUT — Damion Lee (knee).

Upcoming schedule

Feb. 13 at Phoenix Suns

Feb. 14 at Denver Nuggets

Feb. 22 vs. San Antonio Spurs

Feb. 25 at Los Angeles Clippers

Feb. 26 vs. Miami Heat