Jason Thompson had 21 points and Spencer Hawes added a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Sacramento Kings in a 126-118 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.
Steve Nash scored 31 points for Phoenix which went 0-3 on it road
trip and trails Dallas by four games for the eighth and final spot it the Western Conference playoff race. The Suns have eight games remaining, including four of their final six on the road.
Andres Nocioni and Francisco Garcia each had 19 points for the
Kings, who had lost seven of their eight previous games. Kevin
Martin scored 17 and Beno Udrih added 16 points and seven assists.
Shaquille O'Neal had 24 points and nine rebounds, Grant Hill 19 points, Jared Dudley had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Jason Richardson added 16 points for Phoenix.
Trailing by as many as 11 points in the fourth, the Suns cut the lead to 118-114 on O'Neal's basket with 2:52 remaining. But Hawes made a baseline jumper and Rashad McCants made a jumper on consecutive possessions and Phoenix never got any closer.
The Suns had dropped their last two road games, including a disheartening loss Saturday in Utah where they trailed by 21 points, rallied to grab a seven-point lead with two minutes left, then lost in overtime.
The Kings snapped a four-game home losing skid where they are
only 11-25 this season.
The Kings used a 14-2 run to build a 14-point lead and took a 105-96 advantage into the fourth.
Garcia scored 19 points and Nocioni had 15 for the Kings in the first half, which was characterized by little interest in defense by either team. Hill scored 15 points and O'Neal had 13 for Phoenix.
Hill made six of seven shots and scored 13 points in the first quarter. Despite shooting 61 percent, the Suns still trailed 35-33. Garcia had 10 points off the bench for Sacramento.
After missing all three shots in the opening quarter, including a baseline jumper at the buzzer, Jackson threw off his protective mask in frustration and started the second quarter without it. Jackson sustained a fractured left cheekbone earlier in the month and refused to have surgery.
Former King Vlade Divac, who will have his number retired at Arco Arena on Tuesday, was sitting in a courtside seat.
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