PHOENIX (AP) – Deandre Ayton had 26 and 11 rebounds, Devin Booker added 23 points, and the Phoenix Suns won their 10th straight home game by beating the Sacramento Kings 122-114 on Thursday night.
The Suns haven’t lost in their home arena for nearly a month but struggled to put away the Kings for much of the night, taking a 95-94 lead into the fourth quarter. Sacramento took its first lead of the second half when Delon Wright made a layup of 96-95.
The game remained close throughout the fourth, but the Suns slowly pushed ahead, and Booker threw a long alley-oop pass to Ayton for a dunk with 4:38 left that made it 110-104. A few possessions later, Ayton muscled his way to another bucket to push the Phoenix up 112-104.
It was another excellent game for Ayton, who has found his niche playing alongside the All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Booker. Paul finished with 13 points and 11 assists.
The Suns improved to 40-15 for the season, hitting 40 wins for the first time since 2014. The Kings have lost nine straight. Sacramento was led by De’Aaron Fox, who scored 27. Buddy Hield added 24, and Wright had 16 off the bench. Jevon Carter made his first three shots off the bench, including two 3-pointers, to give the Suns a lift early in the second quarter. His second 3 gave Phoenix a 45-33 advantage with 9:30 left before halftime.
Both teams shot the ball well in the first half. Phoenix was 25 of 40 (63%) from the field, including 11 of 21 from the 3-point range (52%). The Kings weren’t far behind, shooting 24 of 42 (57%) and 10 of 18 (56%) from long range.