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Kings can’t keep up with Suns as losing streak hits 9

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Sacramento played well for 40 minutes, but the defense was a major issue over the final eight minutes.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The losing streak is now at nine.

The Sacramento Kings played hard but came up short in a 122-114 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 27 points and eight assists, while Buddy Hield chipped in with 24 in the loss. Devin Booker had 23 for the Suns.

Sacramento played Phoenix tough in all four quarters, but a late run by the Suns was the difference. The game was tied up at 99-99 with 8:30 to go before Phoenix began to pull away. Led by Booker and Chris Paul, the Suns went on a 23-15 run to close things out.

Along with Fox and Hield, the Kings had another four players hit double figures in scoring, but the defense was a letdown once again. Phoenix shot 56.5 percent from the field and outrebounded Sacramento 39-32.

The Kings played a great first half. They trailed by as many as nine but didn’t fold. Barnes, Fox, Buddy Hield and Delon Wright were filling it up and helped keep Sacramento in it.

The Kings shot 57.1 percent from the field over the first two quarters but couldn’t slow down the Suns. Phoenix shot 62.5 percent and held a 67-65 lead at the break.

It remained close through the third quarter. Both teams stepped up their defense but continued to go back-and-forth. Rookie Tyrese Haliburton had a few nice plays during the period and helped Sacramento keep the deficit at one going into the fourth.

The Kings are firmly entrenched in the lottery and could better their odds if the losing continues down the stretch. They’re now 5.5 games out of a play-in position with just 16 games left on the schedule.

Sacramento will have two days off before taking on the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.