NBA: Devin Booker drops 44 points as Suns overtake Kings
Devin Booker exploded for 44 points, Damion Lee made key plays on the stretch, and the visiting Phoenix Suns held on late for a 122-117 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.
Deandre Ayton contributed with a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns, who maintained the best Western Conference record with a fifth straight win.
Malik Monk came off the bench for a season-high 30 points for the Kings, who lost their third in a row.
The hard-fought battle of the Pacific Division teams was a one-point game when Domantas Sabonis hit a dunk with 3:10 remaining, getting the Kings 111-110.
But Mikal Bridges replied with his own dunk and Ayton went down in a lay-up at 2:23, extending Phoenix’s lead to five and giving the visitors just enough cushion to massage until the end.
Sacramento still had a chance in the final seconds but needed a stoppage after two free throws from Monk, a steal and a dunk from Kevin Huerter took them 120-117 with 35.2 seconds left.
The Kings got the save, forcing a miss from Bridges, but Lee, whose two 3-pointers had helped the Suns past the Kings earlier in the period, snuck in for the offensive rebound and handed the ball to Booker, who capped off his big night with a pair of game-winning free throws with 6.8 seconds left.
Lee, who played for Sacramento coach Mike Brown when the two were with Golden State last season, finished with 15 points off the bench, while Bridges had 13 and Torrey Craig had 11.
Booker’s 44 points tied the 10th most of his career. It was his 20th 40-point effort — second this season — and came on a night he shot 17-for-28 from the field.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 29, 2022
He also found time for eight rebounds, four assists and six steals, while Bridges rounded out his points tally with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Monk’s 30-point game was the sixth of his career. He shot 12 for 17 and also dished out eight assists.
Sabonis finished with 17 points and 10 assists, missing a triple-double by one rebound for a team-high nine.
Huerter added 18 points for the Kings, while De’Aaron Fox, Keegan Murray and Terence Davis had 11 apiece.
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