NBA News Wire
Kings 131, Nuggets 109
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A dynamic five games by their frontcourt and some stingy defense have the Sacramento Kings off to their best start in more than a decade.
Center DeMarcus Cousins scored 26 of his game-high 30 points in the first half, and forward Rudy Gay added 29 as the Kings rolled past the Denver Nuggets 131-109 Wednesday at Sleep Train Arena for their fourth straight victory.
Gay needed only 12 shots and Cousins only 14 to put up their totals. They shot a combined 19-for-26 in the field to help the Kings improve to 4-1 for the first time since the 2001-02 season. Sacramento’s four-game winning streak is its longest since late in the 2010-11 campaign.
Sacramento also beat the Nuggets for the second time in three nights. The Kings prevailed 110-105 in Denver on Monday, and they beat the Nuggets for the third straight time.
Guard Randy Foye had 19 points, and forward Wilson Chandler and guard Ty Lawson each added 13 points for the Nuggets (1-3), who have lost three straight.
Kings forward Carl Landry finished with 18 points, forward Omri Casspi scored 11, and guards Darren Collision and Ben McLemore each scored 10.
The Kings, who shot 55.3 percent from the field on the night, outscored Denver 77-37 in the first and third quarters.
Cousins and Gay were particularly dominant as the Kings built a 68-54 lead after the opening half, combining to make 15 of 19 shots and scoring 42 of Sacramento’s 68 points. They were a combined 10-for-11 in the first quarter as Sacramento roared to a 40-19 advantage.
Gay is averaging 24.4 points, while Cousins is averaging 24 points and 10.6 rebounds.
Denver shot 45.1 percent from the field in its best shooting contest of the season, but it made a combined 13-for-41 (31.7 percent) in the first and third quarters. The Nuggets, after falling behind 30-14, got as close as 48-40 with Cousins on Sacramento’s bench with two fouls in the second quarter.
NOTES: Sacramento’s last four-game winning streak came in March 2011. … F Danilo Gallinari went a combined 1-for-13 in the back-to-back against the Kings. He is 7-for-31 (22.6 percent) on the season. Gallinari missed last season with a knee injury that required surgery. … The Nuggets didn’t surpass 40 percent shooting in any of their first three games, and their 39.1 percent overall mark was the worst in the NBA through Tuesday. … According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Kings entered the night with a better record on the road (2-0) than at home (1-1), with both marks at least .500 for the first time in the team’s 30-year Sacramento history.
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