Suns ease past KingsFeb 12, 2012 - 6:59 AM Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Jared Dudley had 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns eased past the Sacramento Kings, 98-84, at Power Balance Pavilion.
Steve Nash missed the second quarter after taking a shot to the face from Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas late in the first quarter as Thomas' arm flailed into Nash's head after running into a pick set by Marcin Gortat.
Nash, though, returned in the second half after getting four stitches in his lip and finished the game with four points and 15 assists in the Suns' fourth win in five games.
DeMarcus Cousins netted 26 points and Marcus Thornton dropped in 21 for the Kings, losers of two of their past three.
Phoenix opened the game with back-to-back baskets by Channing Frye and Grant Hill and never looked back, leading for the entire 48 minutes.
"Obviously, it was a great win for us. This team has been playing great basketball," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. "For us to play from start to finish like we did, I thought it was really good."
The Kings kept it close over the first four minutes of the game until an 8-2 spurt, capped by Dudley's three-point play, put the Suns ahead, 20-11, with five minutes left in the first.
Sacramento could not get closer than five for the remainder of the first and a pair of Michael Redd free throws gave Phoenix a 31-24 lead after one.
The Suns stretched their lead to double-digits early in the second without their starting point guard and kept the Kings at arm's length in a back-and- forth frame en route to a 53-44 halftime advantage.
Nash then returned for the third quarter and dished out six assists as Phoenix shot 11-for-18 from the floor, closing the quarter with a 10-6 swing that included six points from Gortat and three assists from Nash as the Suns took a 75-60 lead into the final stanza.
Phoenix held at least a 13-point lead for the entire fourth quarter.
"They play well as a team," Kings forward Chuck Hayes said about the Suns. "Everybody plays with their man, they play their strengths, nobody tries anything extra and they actually play really hard."
Suns rookie forward Markieff Morris recorded a career-high 18 points...Sacramento had won three straight home games entering Saturday. They Kings have not won four consecutive home games since November 25-December 2, 2009...Both teams struggled from long range, as the Suns shot 8-for-23 from three-point land and the Kings made 8-of-21 shots from beyond the arc.
- PHOENIX: 98
Feb 12 12:28 AM
- PHOENIX: 75
End of 3rd
Feb 11 11:55 PM
- PHOENIX: 53
Feb 11 11:14 PM
- PHOENIX: 31
End of 1st
Feb 11 10:39 PM
- PHOENIX: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 11 10:12 PM
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