Suns, Kings complete home-and-home set in Phoenix

8:32 AM, Nov 20, 2013   |    comments
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PHOENIX, AZ - The Phoenix Suns are beginning to stumble following a strong start and will try to halt their current slide Wednesday in the back end of a home-and-home set versus the Sacramento Kings.

The Suns have lost three in a row since opening the season with a 5-2 mark and dropped a 107-104 decision at Sacramento Tuesday night. In another close loss, Phoenix's third in a row by three points or less, the Suns led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter and had an 88-82 edge after three.

A 7-0 run gave the Suns control later in the fourth quarter, but did not score over the remaining 3:35. Goran Dragic and Marcus Morris both missed jumpers in the waning seconds for the Suns, who were led by Gerald Green's 24 points. Green started for injured guard Eric Bledsoe (shin).

Green is averaging 16.1 ppg in his last eight games and will get the start again if Bledsoe is unable to. Bledsoe is day-to-day.

Morris added 19 off the bench and Archie Goodwin contributed a career-high 16 points in a losing effort. Phoenix dropped a 90-89 decision at Portland last Wednesday, suffered a 100-98 overtime loss to Brooklyn two nights later and now this recent defeat to the Kings.

"That one was the worst of them all," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek told "You can't go down to the end of the game and have five or six straight turnovers. We were just not taking care of the ball. They run the plays. They don't run them the right way and then we turn it over. Give them (Kings) credit, they stuck in there."

Phoenix is one of two teams (Miami) without a double-digit loss and has held a lead in the fourth quarter every game this season.

The Suns will open a three-game eastern trip later in the week against Charlotte, Orlando and Miami.

Sacramento was led by DeMarcus Cousins, who finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Rookie Ben McLemore and Isaiah Thomas scored 19 points apiece to help the Kings close out a five-game homestand with a 2-3 record. Thomas was clutch from the foul line with 30.4 seconds left and the Kings took advantage of five Phoenix turnovers near the end.

"A lot of people probably counted us out tonight and the guys that were in that game never stopped believing, never stopped working and we pulled out a much needed win," Kings head coach Michael Malone said.

The Kings are opening a three-game road trip Wednesday and will also visit both the Clippers and Lakers. The Kings are unbeaten in the last three encounters with Phoenix, but have lost 12 of 14 trips to the desert.

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