Steve Nash had 30 points and 12 assists, Amare Stoudemire scored 24 and the Phoenix Suns snapped an seven-game road losing streak with a 113-109 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
The Kings erased an entire 20-point first half deficit but could never take the lead against the Suns, falling for the 14th time in the last 16 meetings between the teams.
Nash and Stoudemire came through down the stretch for the Suns, helping them win their first road game since Nov. 29 in Toronto.
Beno Udrih tied the game for Sacramento at 103 with a tough jumper with 1:49 remaining. After the teams traded turnovers, Stoudemire got the lead back for the Suns with two free throws with 1:10 to go.
The Kings missed three shots right at the rim on the next possession, including two by Tyreke Evans. Nash gave Phoenix control with a jumper that made it 107-103 with 44.5 seconds to go. Stoudemire's jumper restored the four-point lead and Nash hit four free throws in the closing seconds to ice the game.
Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 27 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Fellow rookie Omri Casspi added a career-high 24 points as the Kings fell for the sixth time in the past seven games.
The Kings fought back from a 20-point deficit in the first half to get within six late in the third quarter despite briefly losing Evans when he re-injured a sprained right ankle that recently kept him out of three games.
Evans returned to start the fourth quarter and fed Casspi for a 3-pointer early in the quarter that helped the Kings cut it to 88-84. Sacramento tied it on a layup by Andres Nocioni off a blind pass from Evans early in the fourth and the game stayed close from there.
But Sacramento never could take the lead against the veteran Suns. Jason Richardson scored 20 points and Channing Frye added 17 for Phoenix.
The Suns started off fast, making their first five shots. Even when they did miss, they were able to convert second chances, including an acrobatic reverse dunk on a putback by Richardson. Leandro Barbosa banked in a 3-pointer from about 35 feet with 0.1 seconds left in the quarter to give the Suns a 34-25 lead.
Phoenix expanded the lead in the second quarter, going on a 17-1 run that made it 60-40 sparked by the play of Jared Dudley off the bench. He hit a 3-pointer to start the spurt and also had a three-point play on a fast break, scoring eight points in the run. Sacramento cut the lead to 63-49 at the break.
NOTES: Kings swingman Francisco Garcia returned to practice Monday for the first time since breaking his right wrist in October. He is still at least a few weeks away from returning to game action. ... Sacramento F Donte Greene left in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle but returned in the second half. ... Boise State DB Brandyn Thompson sat courtside the day after returning an INT for a TD in the Broncos win over TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. Thompson grew up in the Sacramento area. ... Oakland Raiders LB Thomas Howard also was in attendance.