PHOENIX — Guard Rudy Gay missed 17 of 22 shots but hit the one that counted with 1:07 left to put his team up to stay as the Sacramento Kings won their fifth straight game for the first time in eight years with a 114-112 double overtime win over the Phoenix Suns Friday.
Guard Darren Collison had six of his 16 points in overtime for the Kings, who are 5-1 to start a season for the first time since 1999-2000. DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points and 18 rebounds for the Kings, hitting 13 of his 14 free throws. But with 34.7 seconds left and the game tied at 99, Cousins clipped Suns forward Marcus Morris on a moving screen and fouled out with 34.7 seconds left. But the Kings, who trailed almost the entire game and by seven early in the first overtime, were able to win it without him.
Gay finished with 11 points.
Eric Bledsoe had 23 points and eight assists for the Suns and Goran Dragic added 22 for the Suns, who have lost three of their last four games. P.J. Tucker had seven of his 15 in the first overtime, but the Suns could never put away the pesky Kings. Center Miles Plumlee had 15 points and 16 rebounds for Phoenix.
Both teams had a chance to end the game earlier with ugly results. With the game tied at 99, ex-Kings guard Isaiah Thomas shot an air ball from 26 feet just before the regulation buzzer. Then with the game tied at 106, Gay lost the ball dribbling between his legs and managed only a half-court heave before the end of the overtime as the teams played on.
The Suns scored the first seven points of the first overtime and then went scoreless over the final 3:34. Bledsoe gave the Suns a four-point lead at 112-108 with 2:08 left in the second overtime, but again the Suns couldn’t close the deal.
It was a tough Thomas. Playing against his former team for the first time the sign-and-trade deal in July, Thomas took only four shots and scored three points in 17 minutes.
The Suns led by as many as 12 points and by 11 at 94-83 after a Plumlee free throw with 7:30 to play. But the Kings reeled off 11 straight points, tying the game at 94 on a pair of Cousins free throws with 4:57 to go. A Cousins layup gave the Kings a 98-97 lead with 1:37 left, their first since leading 4-2 early on.
The Suns jumped early and built an 11-point lead at 18-7 on a 3-pointer by Dragic, It was Dragic’s first 3-point make of the year — he had been 0-for-11 in the first five games of the season.
Dragic had 10 points and Marcus Morris added seven as the Suns made 15 of 22 shots to lead 36-25. Cousins didn’t take a shot in the period and Gay missed four of six shots for the Kings.
But with Thomas on the floor to open the second period, the Suns missed five straight 3-point attempts and Sacramento capitalized with a 12-3 run and pulled within 39-37 on two free throws by forward Omar Casspi with 7:05 left.
Phoenix pushed its lead back to 10 on two 3-pointers by Tucker and one by Markieff Morris, and a Bledsoe steal and dunk made it 52-42 with 3:38 left. But the Kings answered with nine straight points, six on free throws by Cousins. He had two more free throws with 6.2 seconds left and the Kings were in the game trailing 58-53 at the half. The Suns had 17 of their points off seven Sacramento turnovers.
The Kings stayed midway through the third quarter. Two layups by Collison cut a nine-point lead back to 73-70 with 4:23 left. But Thomas gave the Suns a lift, feeding Plumlee for a layup before hitting a 3-pointer to key a 7-0 run. Dragic ended the quarter with six points in the final 1:05, including two free throws with 1.8 seconds left give the Suns their biggest lead at 88-77.
NOTES: Sacramento coach Mike Malone on his team facing former Kings G Isaiah Thomas for the first time. “We anticipate he’ll be a little more aggressive. But he’s the (Suns) leading scorer, so he’s aggressive against everyone. Once that jump ball goes up, it’s the Kings and the Suns and a lot of talented players, so it’s not just Isaiah.” … The Suns lost just seven times by 10 points or more last season under rookie coach Jeff Hornacek. Their two losses this season are by 27 points (Nov. 1 at the Utah Jazz) and 11 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday). … The Suns are averaging 18.2 fast-break points through five games, second best in the NBA behind Golden State. … The Suns came into the game having beaten the Kings in 79 of 104 meetings in Phoenix, a .760 winning percentage.
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