Suns 101, Kings 90

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 18, 2012
Shannon Brown scored 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter, Jared Dudley added 20 points and the Phoenix Suns pulled off another big rally to beat the Sacramento Kings 101-90 Monday night. The Suns were out of sorts throughout the first half, scoring 43 points while trailing by up to 19. Brown helped them outscore Sacramento 31-14 in the third quarter and Dudley provided the cushion down the stretch to give Phoenix its first three-game winning streak of the season. Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Luis Scola gave the Suns his usual hustle while scoring 14 points and dishing out a career-high 10 assists. The Kings played well early, but faded down the stretch to lose their fourth straight game. Jimmer Fredette had 22 points and Aaron Brooks added 12 for Sacramento. Sacramento and Phoenix, the two worst teams in the Pacific Division, met heading in opposite directions. Just a week ago, the Suns were reeling, on a seven-game losing streak that included a 40-point blowout to struggling Detroit on Nov. 28, the third-worst loss in franchise history. Phoenix started its current five-game homestand with a loss to Orlando, but followed with wins over Memphis and Utah, two teams in the upper half of the Western Conference. The Kings seemed to be putting things together with a modest three-game winning streak, only to play poorly at both ends during a four-game losing streak. Sacramento was blown out 122-97 by Denver at home Sunday night and has struggled on the road all season, winning 1 of 10 games before facing the Suns. The Kings looked tired early after playing the night before, missing nine of their first 12 shots before hitting a few late in the first quarter during a 10-0 run. After that, it was the Suns who looked worn down. Phoenix missed all seven of its 3-pointers in the first quarter and wasn't much better from anywhere else, unable to get even layups and tip-ins to go down. The Suns failed to hit a field goal over the final 5:19 of the first quarter and continued to struggle in the second, going down 52-33 after Fredette hit two free throws to reach 12 points in the quarter. Phoenix managed to hit a couple of shots late, but still trailed 54-43 at halftime - the 20th time in 25 games this season the Suns have trailed by double digits. Of course, they've come back a lot this season, too, and did it again. Hitting the shots that weren't falling early, Phoenix went on an 18-4 run midway through the third quarter, going up 61-58 after Brown hit three straight shots, including a 3-pointer as he fell into Sacramento's bench. The Suns kept hitting shots - 13 of 19 - and played some defense, holding the Kings scoreless for four minutes to turn an 11-point deficit into a six-point lead. Phoenix extended the lead to 85-75 on a 3-pointer by Michael Beasley from the corner midway through the fourth quarter, but the Kings clawed back within three. The Sun sealed it after that, going up 97-84 on consecutive 3-pointers by Dudley and a driving layup by Brown. NOTES: Hall of Fame center Bill Russell attended the game. ... Phoenix has won 12 of its past 14 games against Sacramento at home. ... Sacramento played without G Tyreke Evans, who left with sore knee after the first quarter against Denver Sunday night.
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