Reality may be setting in on the Suns.

After surprising just about everybody by winning five of their first seven games and playing competitively on the road in losses to Oklahoma City and San Antonio, the Suns lost their fourth in a row Wednesday night.

This time they fell hard, 113-106, to the Sacramento Kings at US Airways Center.

Worse, it was the second night in a row they lost to a Kings team that doubled its season win total in about 48 hours at their expense.

And for the first time in a season with a young, rebuilt team that was not expected to sniff the playoffs, the Suns were on the verge of being blown out of their building.

In fact, they came into the game with the distinction of being the only team in the NBA to have held the lead at some point during the fourth quarter in all 10 of their games this season.

Scratch that. The Suns never led in the fourth and trailed by as many as 20 points.

But at least they showed some resolve, cutting that 20-point bulge down to a manageable seven with 3:09 to play on a Marcus Morris 3-point shot that came close on the heels of a P.J. Tucker 3-pointer.

They really made it interesting when Goran Dragic drove for two of his season-high 31 points with 1:15 to go that got the Suns within six.

But when Dragic fouled Kings guard Greivis Vasquez on a 3-point shot with 54 seconds to go, and Vasquez hit all three free throws, the Kings were able to close out the sweep.

“Tonight was the first night we probably didn’t have the effort,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “They outhustled us on most things, especially early on in the game. I told our guys after the game, in the two games that we played those guys, any 50-50 balls, I don’t think we got a single one of them in two games.

“We’re a step slow going for balls; not tough enough. We let them do what they wanted. At least the last group, when we went with the small group, they at least tried to fight. We just need more of that, and earlier.”

Even before the loss, Hornacek warned against being satisfied with moral victories and accepting losses just because the Suns are the second-most inexperienced team in the NBA.

“The first loss, that’s OK,” he said. “You don’t want to get in this mode where we are accepting the fact that we’re young and inexperienced. From players to coaches to whatever, we can’t sit there and use that as a crutch or an excuse.”

“We expect to win the game, whether we are young and inexperienced or whatever. You can accept one or two, but I thought (Tuesday night’s) game really hurt because we had a chance to win but then we didn’t even give ourselves a chance in the last three minutes with the way we did some things.

“The good thing about the NBA is, you get to go right back and play it again.”