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Kings lose 19 point lead, fall to Suns

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After an embarrassing blowout at home to Denver, the Sacramento Kings would go on the road for the second game of a back-to-back to play the Phoenix Suns on a Monday night.

While the Kings played without Tyreke Evans because of a sore left knee, both teams had a slow start to the game, scoring a combined 19 points halfway through the first quarter.

The game changed in the second quarter when the Kings bench of Jimmer Fredette, Isaiah Thomas, James Johnson, Thomas Robinson and Chick Hayes, took control.

The team made nine straight field goals and led by as much as 19 points lead in the second quarter, but in the NBA, no lead is safe.

The Suns went on a 24-4 run as the Kings' starters watched their lead evaporate faster than it was built. The momentum that the Kings owned had completely shifted to the Suns.

The Kings fought back from a 10-point deficit to cut it down to three at 87-84, but a pair of late three-point shots by Jared Dudley would put the game out of reach. The Suns would go on to beat the Kings 101-90.

Fredette came off the bench and scored 12 of his career-high 22 points in the second quarter for the Kings. Johnson had 11 points and three blocks and Aaron Brooks added 12 points.

DeMarcus Cousins, who has historically been good against the Suns, only nine points on 1-of-10 shooting.

Luis Scola had 14 points, six boards and a career-high 10 assists for the Suns. Shannon Brown scored 22 points, Dudley added 20 points and Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Kings coach Keith Smart explained how an 11-point lead at halftime turned into an 11-point loss:

"I think we did a great job of contesting all their shots, making them have to scramble on our coverages ... As we move into the second half, all the shots they kind of missed because we had pressure on them, they got them because we didn't have enough pressure on them in the second half."

The Kings will return home to play regional rival Golden State Warriors Wednesday at 7 p.m. PST. Marcus Thornton is expected to return to the Kings for the game.



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