Published April 04, 2012
| Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Marcin Gortat had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Steve Nash added 18 points and 12 assists and the Phoenix Suns defeated the Sacramento Kings 109-100 on Tuesday night.
The Suns won their second straight and third in four games to move over the .500 mark (27-26) for only the third time this season.
The Suns moved within 1½ games of Houston for the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff berth.
DeMarcus Cousins scored a career-high 41 points and had 12 rebounds for the Kings, who have lost three of four.
Isaiah Thomas had 25 points and seven assists, and Terrence Williams had another big game off the bench with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Michael Redd had 16 points and both Channing Frye and Jared Dudley had 15 for Phoenix. Shannon Brown had 12 points for the Suns.
Nash led a 12-2 run in the fourth that put Phoenix ahead 101-90. He made a 3-pointer and followed with an off-balance shot in the lane. A basket by Frye gave the Suns an 11-point lead with 4:05 remaining.
Redd scored three quick baskets to begin the fourth quarter, stretching the Suns' lead to 87-82 with just under 10 minutes left. But three straight baskets by Cousins pulled Sacramento within 89-88.
The Suns maintained the lead in the third quarter despite having no answer for Cousins. The Kings' center had 13 points and eight rebounds, yet Sacramento still trailed 79-78 heading the fourth.
Nash began looking for his shot more in the third quarter when he scored seven points and three assists for Phoenix, which was outscored 27-20.
Gortat had 13 points and eight rebounds in a first-half matchup with Cousins. The Suns led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter and took a 59-51 advantage into halftime.
Cousins had 16 points and Williams had 12 for the Kings.
Notes: Despite shooting 39 percent in the opening quarter, the Suns still led 29-18. ... The Kings played without starting guard Marcus Thornton (bruised left calf) and key reserve John Salmons (sore right hip). ... Earning a rare start, Kings forward Donte Greene went scoreless and had three personal fouls in the first half. ... Redd scored 10 second-quarter points. ... The Kings made 4 of 11 free throws in the first half.