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NBA: Suns hang on to defeat Kings for 5th straight victory

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Cameron Payne matched his career best of 24 points off the bench to help the Phoenix Suns beat the host Sacramento Kings 109-104 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

Devin Booker recorded 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Phoenix, which let a 24-point lead slip to three before holding on. Mikal Bridges and Chris Paul scored 16 points apiece and reserve Frank Kaminsky tallied 10 for the Suns.

Harrison Barnes scored 26 points and De’Aaron Fox had 24 for Sacramento, which lost its second consecutive contest. Buddy Hield added 14 points, Terence Davis had 13 and Davion Mitchell scored 12.

Tyrese Haliburton (back) sat out for the Kings, who were plagued by 24 turnovers.

Deandre Ayton (leg) sat out for the third time in the past four games for the Suns, who shot 47.3 percent from the field, including 12 of 30 from 3-point range. Payne was 4 of 6 from long distance.

Sacramento made 45.1 percent of its attempts and was 10 of 24 from behind the arc.

The Kings trailed by 24 late in the third quarter but outscored Phoenix 30-9 over the next 13-plus minutes.

Sacramento ripped off a 16-2 burst in the final quarter to cut the margin to 105-100 on Fox’s two free throws with 2:36 left.

The Kings were behind 107-104 after Barnes’ dunk with 9.7 seconds left before Booker missed two free throws with 8.1 seconds to play.

However, Sacramento’s Chimezie Metu turned the ball over and Paul made two free throws with 4.6 seconds left to help Phoenix escape.

The Suns broke the game open in the third quarter when they scored the first 14 points and outscored the Kings 31-12.

Sacramento shot 5 of 21 (23.8 percent) and committed 10 turnovers in the period.

Paul’s 3-pointer capped the quarter-opening surge to give Phoenix an 81-64 advantage with 7:48 remaining in the third.

Booker later buried a trey to push the Suns’ lead to the game-best 98-74 with 1:25 left.

The margin was 22 entering the final stanza before Sacramento got back into the game with its impressive run.

Payne scored 17 first-half points and the Suns led 67-64 at the break.

–Field Level Media

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