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Kings win 4th straight

Cousins records double double; snap Suns streak

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POSTED March 25, 2015 11:36 p.m.

PHOENIX (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins scored 24 points, all but four coming in the first three quarters, and grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Sacramento Kings beat the Phoenix Suns 108-99 on Thursday night.

Cousins also had three assists, two steals and a block, and Rudy Gay scored 14 points for the Kings, who have won four straight.

Markieff Morris scored 24 points, and Eric Bledsoe and Marcus Morris added 19 each for the Suns, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Phoenix squandered an opportunity to make up a game on eighth-place Oklahoma City in the Western Conference. The Thunder were routed 130-91 earlier Thursday at San Antonio. Phoenix trails Oklahoma City by three games for the West’s final playoff spot.

Markieff Morris pulled the Suns within four points at 72-68 with 4:14 left in the third quarter. But Ray McCallum hit a 14-foot jumper, Derrick Williams scored on an alley-oop pass from Gay and Cousins added a dunk to spark an 11-2 run to end the third period that put Sacramento ahead 83-70.

Archie Goodwin and Brandan Wright each scored in the first 69 seconds of the fourth quarter to cut the Kings’ lead to nine. But Omri Casspi hit a layup with a finger-roll and Williams converted another alley-oop pass to give the Kings an 87-74 lead with 8:42 left.

Phoenix made a final run, with Marcus Morris scoring five straight points to pull the Suns within five at 92-87. Ben McLemore, though, answered with a 3-pointer with 4:12 left and added another 87 seconds later and Sacramento led 98-89.



TIP-INS

Kings: Rudy Gay picked up two fouls in the first 8:04 of the first quarter and spent the rest of the period on the bench. Gay was called for his third foul 2:05 into the second, but remained in the game. ... Sacramento won three of four against the Suns this season, including both in Phoenix for the first time since 1998-99. The Kings entered the season with only three wins in Phoenix since the 2005-06 season. Sacramento had not won the season series since 2010-11. ... Each of the Kings’ three wins over Phoenix this season came with a different head coach — Mike Malone, Tyrone Corbin and now George Karl. ... Cousins has recorded a double-double in eight of his past 11 games.

Suns: Phoenix was without starting guard Brandon Knight, who was a game-time scratch with a sprained left ankle. ... Gerald Green, who had played 17 minutes in Phoenix’s past five games, including three games spent on the bench, appeared in the fourth and scored four straight points on his first two shots. But then he committed his second and third fouls and missed three straight shots, including a pair of 3-pointers. ... Bledsoe, who entered the game averaging six assists a game, recorded only one.



TECHNICALLY
 SPEAKING

Suns coach Jeff Hornacek needed just 53 seconds to pick up his first technical since Nov. 30 after both Morris brothers, Markieff and Marcus, were whistled for fouls. Hornacek walked to the far edge of the coaches box yelling at Bennie Adams who, after listening and watching over his right shoulder, casually called the technical.

 Markieff Morris earned a technical of his own after being called for a foul with 0.4 seconds left in the first quarter. Morris’ 14th technical tied Russell Westbrook for the league lead and left him two T’s away from an automatic one-game suspension.

FINDING BALANCE

The Kings, who feature four players averaging more than 10 points game, had seven players score in double figures, including all five starters. Reserve guard Nik Stauskas, who entered the game averaging 4.1 points a game, finished with 12 — three under his season high. Jason Thompson, Andre Miller and Reggie Evans were the only Kings to play but not hit double figures.

UP NEXT

Kings: At New Orleans on Friday.

Suns: Host Portland on Friday.

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