SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Jared Dudley had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Phoenix Suns, who never trailed in defeating the Sacramento Kings 98-84 on Saturday night.
The victory was the fourth in five games for the Suns, who have won their last three on the road. Phoenix took a double-digit lead in the second quarter and maintained a comfortable margin for the remainder of the game.
Markieff Morris came off the bench for 18 points, Channing Frye had 17, and Marcin Gortat had 15 points and seven rebounds for Phoenix.
DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and nine rebounds, and Marcus Thornton made four 3-pointers and had 21 points for the Kings. Tyreke Evans, Sacramento's leading scorer, shot 1 of 9 and finished with four points while being guarded all game by Grant Hill.
Sacramento, which had won four of its previous five games, shot 35 percent.
The Suns made three 3-pointers over a three-minute span, and the final one by Michael Redd put them ahead 86-69 midway through the fourth quarter.
Suns point guard Steve Nash, who turned 38 earlier this week, took a shot in the mouth on the final possession of the first quarter and spent much of the second quarter getting four stitches to sew up a wound in his lower lip.
Nash shot sparingly all game and scored four points, but handed out 15 assists in 29 minutes.
Phoenix controlled the tempo in the third quarter, scoring inside frequently and making the cold-shooting Kings take contested shots. Gortat scored six points and the Suns shot 61 percent in outscoring the Kings 22-16 and taking a 75-60 lead into the final quarter.
With Nash leading the way with his pinpoint passing, the Suns scored numerous baskets in transition in the third quarter when the Kings committed six turnovers. Nash was scoreless in the game until tossing in a short floater with 39 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Dudley scored 13 points and Frye had 10 to help give the Suns a 53-44 halftime lead. Both Thornton and Cousins had 11 points for Sacramento, which shot 38 percent but committed only three turnovers.
With the injured Nash in the locker room getting stitches and missing the entire second quarter, the Suns were still able to maintain its lead. The Suns' much-maligned bench combined for 12 points in the quarter when Phoenix outscored the Kings 22-20.
Notes: The Kings won't play another home again until Feb. 28. On Tuesday, they start a six-game road trip, playing exclusively Eastern Conference teams, followed by the All-Star break. ... Nash had six assists in the game's first eight minutes, helping the Suns take a 31-24 lead after one quarter. ... Cousins had 11 points in the opening quarter, but picked up three quick fouls in the second period and only played two minutes.