Deandre Ayton scored 26 points on 10 of 11 shooting and collected 11 rebounds to lead the red-hot Phoenix Suns to a 122-114 victory over the visiting Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.
Devin Booker added 23 points as Phoenix won its fourth straight contest and 14th in its past 16 games. The Suns (40-15) became the second NBA team to reach 40 victories this season, following the Utah Jazz (41).
Chris Paul recorded 13 points, 11 assists and three steals and Mikal Bridges and Jevon Carter also scored 13 points apiece for Phoenix.
De’Aaron Fox registered 27 points and eight assists, but the Kings fell to match their season-worst losing skid of nine games. Buddy Hield added 24 points and Delon Wright had 16.
Harrison Barnes scored 14 points, Tyrese Haliburton added 12 and Hassan Whiteside contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento, which made 55.1 percent of its shots and was 14 of 30 from behind the arc.
The Kings also lost nine straight games in February.
The Suns shot 55.8 percent from the field and knocked down 14 of 38 from 3-point range.
Torrey Craig made a 3-pointer with 6:45 left to cap an 11-1 run as Phoenix turned a two-point deficit into a 108-100 lead.
Fox scored back-to-back baskets to pull Sacramento within four before Ayton took over and scored 10 of the Suns’ next 12 points to give Phoenix a 120-111 with 1:37 remaining.
Jae Crowder’s follow gave the Suns a 122-112 advantage with 58.6 seconds left, and Phoenix closed it out to improve to 4-0 on a five-game homestand.
The Suns shot 62.5 percent from the field in the first half but led just 67-65 at the break. The Kings shot 57.1 percent.
Phoenix received 11 second-quarter points from Carter, including a 3-pointer that accounted for a 45-33 lead with 9:30 left in the half. Sacramento responded with a 15-5 push to get back into the game and later knotted the score at 65 on Wright’s 3-pointer with 1:20 left.
Booker’s jumper gave Phoenix an 86-79 advantage with 5:53 left in the third quarter. Sacramento recovered to knot the score at 90 on Chimezie Metu’s basket before the Suns took a 95-94 lead into the final stanza.
–Field Level Media