Ayton scores 26, Suns beat Kings for 10th straight home win

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PHOENIX — Deandre Ayton had 26 points 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 to make it 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. Ayton muscled his way to another bucket a few possessions later to push the Phoenix up 112-104.

It was another good 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.

But the Kings cut into the deficit quickly and Wright made a 3 with 1:15 left that tied the game at 65. The Suns took a 67-65 lead into halftime after Booker made a 17-foot jumper.

Both teams shot the ball well in the first half. Phoenix was 25 of 40 (63%) from the field, including 11 of 21 from 3-point range (52%). The Kings weren't far behind, shooting 24 of 42 (57%) and 10 of 18 (56%) from long range.

TIP-INS

Kings: F Marvin Bagley III (hand fracture) and F Richaun Holmes (right hamstring strain) didn't play.

Suns: Paul needs 16 assists to pass Magic Johnson (10,141) for No. 4 on the all-time list. ... F Abdel Nader missed his 14th straight game because of right knee soreness. ... Carter finished with 13 points in 17 minutes, leading a bench that scored 42.

UP NEXT

Kings: Travel to face the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Suns: Wrap up a five-game homestand vs. the Spurs on Saturday.

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Follow David Brandt at www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

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More AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

David Brandt, The Associated Press