Lawson's 24 points lead Nuggets, 120-113

  • Associated Press
  • March 5, 2013 - 11:52 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Ty Lawson had 24 points and Danilo Gallinari added 23 for the Denver Nuggets as they won their sixth straight game, defeating the Sacramento Kings 120-113 on Tuesday night.

The deep and talented Nuggets used a 36-point third quarter to build a lead against the Kings that they never relinquished in winning their season-best third straight road game. They scored 70 second-half points when they shot nearly 64 percent.

The streaking Nuggets have won seven of eight games, including 11 in a row at home, where they own a 26-3 record, which ties Miami for the best mark in the NBA.

Kenneth Faried had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Andre Miller scored 16 and Kosta Koufos had 15 points and eight rebounds for Denver.

Marcus Thornton continued his torrid scoring of late, making five 3-pointers and getting 32 points for the Kings, who have lost eight of their last 10 games. They own the worst record in the Western Conference.

Isaiah Thomas had 23 points, Jason Thompson had 18 and John Salmons scored 11.

The Denver interior defense helped make it a difficult evening for Kings leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins. He missed 11 of 12 shots, was 6 of 10 from the free throw line, and finished with eight points, 13 rebounds and a career-high five blocks.

Denver extended the lead to 10 points or more several times in the fourth period, but behind the shooting of Thornton, the Kings didn't fold. A 3-pointer by Salmons midway through the quarter Sacramento to 101-95.

Veteran guard Miller was the key for Denver in the fourth quarter. He continually penetrated and got to the basket for easy looks, scoring 12 points in the period. His back-to-back layups gave Denver a 10-2 run for a 12-point lead with 3:17 left.

Lawson scored 12 points and Koufos had nine in the third quarter, when the Nuggets took the lead for good and entered the fourth with an 86-79 advantage. The Nuggets outscored Sacramento 36-29 in the third period and led by as many as 14 points.

Tied at the half, the Nuggets got their offense going early in the third quarter with a 14-3 run. Lawson 3-pointer gave Denver a 64-53 lead.

Thompson made all seven shots and scored 14 points for the Kings, who kept the Denver running game in check during a 50-50 first half.

Thornton scored 12 points for the Kings and Faried had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets in the half.

Off the court, Mayor Kevin Johnson announced last week that 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and billionaire Ron Burkle made an offer to the NBA to purchase the Kings. At a city council meeting Tuesday night, Sacramento City Manager John Shirey said he intends to bring a financing term sheet for a new downtown sports arena to a vote at the council's March 26 meeting.

Seattle hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer signed an agreement in January to buy the Kings from the Maloof family, the majority owners.

The NBA board of governors is expected to vote in mid-April on the fate of the Kings.

Notes: Fat Lever, the Kings Director of Player Development and radio analyst, spent six seasons with the Nuggets (1984-90) and obviously made an impact. Lever remains the Nuggets' all-time steals leader and ranks second in career assists. . Cousins missed all five shots and had two fouls in the game's opening seven minutes. He went scoreless in the first half, but did collect seven rebounds and had three blocks. . Faried picked up his fourth foul at 10:06 of the third quarter and went to the bench. . Thornton made two 3s and Thomas had another in a 50-second span in the third quarter for the Kings.

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