NBA: Devin Booker drops 44 points as Suns slide past Kings

Devin Booker exploded for 44 points, Damion Lee made key plays down the stretch and the visiting Phoenix Suns held on late for a 122-117 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

Deandre Ayton chipped in with a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Suns, who retained the best record in the Western Conference with a fifth straight win.

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Malik Monk came off the bench for a season-high 30 points for the Kings, who lost their third in a row.

The tightly contested battle of Pacific Division squads was a one-point game when Domantas Sabonis slammed through a dunk with 3:10 to play, getting the Kings within 111-110.

But Mikal Bridges countered with a dunk of his own and Ayton dropped in a layup at the 2:23 mark, extending the Phoenix lead to five and giving the visitors just enough of a cushion to massage until the end.

Sacramento still had a chance in the final seconds, but needed a stop after two free throws by Monk, a steal and a Kevin Huerter dunk got them within 120-117 with still 35.2 seconds to go.

The Kings got the stop, forcing a Bridges miss, but Lee, whose two 3-pointers had helped the Suns overtake the Kings earlier in the period, snuck in for the offensive rebound and got the ball to Booker, who capped his big night with a pair of clinching free throws with 6.8 seconds left.

Lee, who played for Sacramento coach Mike Brown when both were with Golden State last season, finished with 15 points off the bench, while Bridges had 13 and Torrey Craig 11.

Booker’s 44 points equaled the 10th most of his career. It was his 20th 40-point effort — second this season — and came on a night when he shot 17-for-28 from the field.

He also found time for eight rebounds, four assists and six steals, while Bridges complemented his point total with eight rebounds and a team-high-tying 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 a game-high 10 assists, missing a triple-double by one rebound with a team-high nine.

Huerter added 18 points for the Kings, while De’Aaron Fox, Keegan Murray and Terence Davis had 11 apiece.

–Field Level Media

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