Kings blow 22-point 4th-quarter lead in meltdown vs. Suns

The Sacramento Kings were on the verge of handing the Phoenix Suns a very bad loss at home Tuesday night.

Until they weren’t.

The Kings led 109-87 with 8:10 remaining. They then gave up a 32-8 run to end the game that secured a 119-117 win for the Suns. It was a stunning collapse for the Kings and a big win for the now 22-18 Suns whose season so far hasn’t gone as expected.

What looked like a double-digit loss at home to a Western Conference rival would have only made things worse. Instead, they’re left to celebrate one of the more remarkable wins of the NBA season.

Until the late collapse, the Kings were in control from the opening tip. They opened a 39-27 first-quarter lead that they extended to 68-51 at halftime. With 8:22 remaining in the fourth quarter, they extended that lead to 109-87 on a De’Aaron Fox 3-pointer. Then the wheels fell off.

Eric Gordon ties the game at 115 with a 3-pointer in the final minute. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Eric Gordon ties the game at 115 with a 3-pointer in the final minute. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix’s Josh Okogie started the rally with a layup in traffic with 8:09 remaining. That sparked a 7-0 Suns run the Kings quelled with a Keegan Murray 3-pointer to extend their lead back to 112-94 with 6:14 remaining.

Then the heart of the comeback really began. Phoenix ripped off a 15-1 run capped by a Kevin Durant transition 3-pointer that brought the Suns within 113-109 with 2:33 remaining. From there it was game on.

The Suns tied the game at 115-115 on an Eric Gordon 3-pointer with 43.7 seconds remaining.

They then took a 117-115 lead on a pair of Durant free throws. Fox tied the game on the other end with a floater with 19 seconds remaining. But Fox fouled Durant with 1.1 seconds remaining to put him on the line for the game-winning free throws.

Durant calmly sunk both to secure the 119-117 win. He finished the night with 27 points, five rebounds and four assists. Grayson Allen led the Suns with 29 points, six assists and five rebounds. Devin Booker added 16 points and 11 assists while struggling from the field in a 5-of-14 effort.

The Suns shot 17 of 37 (45.9%) from 3-point distance including seven made 3s in the fourth quarter. Fox led Sacramento with 33 points and six assists, an individual effort that will surely give him little solace. The loss dropped the Kings to 23-17.

It’s the kind of game that could change the trajectory of the season for either team. How the Suns and the Kings respond moving forward will be worth watching.

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