NBA: Kings rally past fast-starting Suns


Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings slam dunks over Jock Landale #11 of the Phoenix Suns during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center on March 24, 2023 in Sacramento, California. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/AFP

Domantas Sabonis finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, Kevin Huerter scored a team-high 29 points, and the Sacramento Kings weathered 62 combined points from Devin Booker and Terrence Ross to knock off the visiting Phoenix Suns 135-127 on Friday.

Sacramento (44-29) withstood a 57.1 percent shooting first half from the floor for Phoenix (38-35), as the Suns built a lead of as many as 14 points before intermission.

A 23-9 run in the first 5:59 out of the locker room quickly flipped the game in the Kings’ favor. Huerter’s 3-pointer to break a 76-76 tie gave Sacramento a lead it never relinquished the rest of the way.

The Kings held the Suns to just 8-of-20 shooting from the floor in the third quarter, compared to Sacramento’s own 15-of-26 clip. The advantage extended into the fourth quarter, as the Kings pulled ahead by as many as 13 points.

The Suns, who came into Friday’s contest looking to avoid a three-game skid, battled back in the final period behind Booker’s 32-point effort. He shot 5-of-6 from the floor in the fourth, and the Suns cut the deficit to as few as four points.

However, Harrison Barnes scored six straight points in the final minute — part of his 23 points overall — to ice the win for Sacramento. The win prevented a three-game skid for the Kings, and extended their lead over Phoenix for third place in the Western Conference to six games.

The Suns slid to fifth, a half-game behind the Los Angeles Clippers, who were off on Friday.

Ross’ 30 points in the loss marked a season high. He shot 6 of 10 from 3-point range off the bench, but the Suns went just 9 of 29 from deep as a team. Sacramento shot 13 of 39 from beyond the arc, led by Huerter’s 6 of 12.

Phoenix continued to play without Kevin Durant, who sustained an ankle injury before his would-be home debut as a Sun on March 8. Deandre Ayton also missed his third straight game with a hip injury.


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