Kings use balanced attack to down Suns
Sacramento, CA – Isaiah Thomas led five Sacramento players in double-figures with 27 points, six assists and five steals as the Kings edged the Phoenix Suns, 121-112, on Friday at Sleep Train Arena.
Tyreke Evans netted 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting -- including 4-of-6 from 3- point range -- for the Kings, who saw their two-game losing streak come to an end en route to snapping a six-game skid versus Phoenix.
Marcus Thornton added 23 points and five 3-pointers and DeMarcus Cousins contributed to the balanced attack with 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 of which on the defensive end, and seven assists in the much-needed victory. Both players shot an efficient 9-of-13 from the floor.
"It was fun," Thornton said of the win. "It makes you want to play when you're sharing the ball."
Michael Beasley scored 24 points and Goran Dragic had 17 and 16 assists for the Suns, who have lost their last two following a three-game winning streak. Wesley Johnson contributed 19 points in the setback.
Sacramento led by two at halftime and held its lead to open the second half. The Kings used an 11-2 margin on fast break points in the third quarter and made 5-of-9 from behind the arc, including Thornton's 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded, to enter the fourth up, 89-82.
Phoenix stuck around and scored eight unanswered points to get within 98-95 with 6:50 remaining, but Thornton and Evans nailed consecutive 3-pointers to create some breathing room.
With the Suns down 101-97 with six minutes to play, Beasley helped the visitors stay alive as he scored 10 straight Phoenix points to get the Suns within 113-105.
Phoenix used a late 7-0 run to get within 116-112 with 43.3 ticks remaining, but the Kings went 5-of-6 from the charity stripe over the final 17 seconds to secure the victory.
"We gave up far too many points in the paint, kick-out threes and had a tough time adjusting rotation-wise," Suns head coach Lindsey Hunter said of the poor defensive effort.
Sacramento took a 32-30 edge after one quarter, though the Suns grabbed the lead midway through the second to make it 46-38.
Cousins, however, helped ignite a 21-11 swing to close the first half and the Kings led 59-57 at the break. Cousins had 18 points and seven rebounds on 7- of-8 shooting in the first half.
The Kings are 4-2 in their last five at home ... The Suns have won both of this season's matchups and five straight in the series ... Thomas shot 4-of-5 from 3-point range.