Dec 27, 12:30 AM EST

Phoenix Suns outlast short-handed Sacramento Kings 115-106 for 5th straight win


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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Marcus Morris had 20 points and nine rebounds, Isaiah Thomas keyed the decisive run against his former team and the Phoenix Suns outlasted the short-handed Sacramento Kings 115-106 on Friday night for their fifth straight win.

In his first game back in Sacramento, Thomas led an 18-7 spurt to start the fourth quarter that put Phoenix up by 15. The former Kings fan favorite finished with 17 points, five assists and three rebounds in just 29 minutes.

Darren Collison scored 19 points, and Rudy Gay added 16 points and five assists for the Kings, who sorely missed DeMarcus Cousins inside. The franchise center sat out with a stomach illness.

Interim coach Tyrone Corbin said the illness is unrelated to the viral meningitis that sidelined Cousins for 10 games previously. Either way, Sacramento has struggled without him.

The Kings are 2-9 when Cousins hasn't played this season.

Reggie Evans tried to make up for Cousins' absence, going for 11 points and 16 rebounds, but the lack of Cousins left the middle open on both ends.

The Suns shot 48.9 percent, including 14 for 33 from 3-point range, pushing the pace and creating all kinds of space. Sacramento shot 44.1 percent and 7 of 29 from beyond the arc.

The teams traded scores for the first three quarters in what was a sloppy but fast-pace contest most of the way.

Thomas received a moderate round of applause when he checked in during the first quarter, though he didn't do much at the start. Thomas, selected by Sacramento with the 60th and final pick of the 2011 draft, went to Phoenix in a sign-and-trade deal over the summer.

As he so often did in Sacramento, the undersized guard went to work when it mattered most.

Thomas found Marcus Morris for a 3-pointer and then made two layups between a free throw to open the fourth. He added a couple more dazzling plays and a layup that put Phoenix up 112-97 with 5:09 to play.

Thomas scored nine of his 17 points in the final quarter.

Eric Bledsoe added 18 points, Markieff Morris had 17 points and Goran Dragic finished with 16 points and six assists for the Suns.

TIP-INS

Suns: Phoenix improved to 5-0 when it uses the starting lineup of Bledsoe, Dragic, P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris and Alex Len.

Kings: Sacramento started 9-5 this season and is 3-12 since. ... Reserves Ramon Sessions (strained lower back) and Ryan Hollins (personal reason) also sat out.

UP NEXT

Suns: At Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Kings: Host New York Knicks on Saturday.

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