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Nuggets 118, Kings 108

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Guard Ty Lawson scored 12 of his 22 points during a third-quarter blitz, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Sacramento Kings 118-108 at Sleep Train Arena on Friday to win their fourth straight contest.

Guard Arron Afflalo also scored 22 points, Lawson finished with eight assists, and four other Denver players scored in double figures. The Nuggets beat Sacramento for the first time in four games, and kept the Kings from posting consecutive victories for the first time under coach Tyrone Corbin.

Lawson scored 12 and rookie center Jusuf Nurkic had eight during Denver’s 22-4 blitz to start the third quarter. Nurkic finished with 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds in his second start for Denver.

Denver played without forward Wilson Chandler, its third-leading scorer at 14.3 per game. Chandler sat out with a right knee strain, but the Nuggets (17-20) hardly missed him. Forward J.J. Hickson scored 16, forward Kenneth Faried had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and forward Darrell Arthur had 11 for Denver.

Center DeMarcus Cousins posted his usual double-double — 32 points, 13 rebounds — but the Kings (15-21) fell to 6-16 since Nov. 25, when they extended their last winning streak to three. They have won just four of 12 since Corbin was hired to replace coach Michael Malone, who was fired on Dec. 14. Cousins has 18 double-doubles in his past 20 games.

Forward Rudy Gay scored 22 points, guard Darren Collison had 15 points and seven assists, and rookie guard Nik Stauskas scored 13 for the Kings.

The Nuggets outscored Sacramento 36-15 in the third quarter, after the Kings took a 60-54 lead into halftime thanks to a 13-5 run to end the second quarter. Sacramento missed 10 of its first 13 shots in the period, including five straight.

The Kings also struggled to get to the free-throw line against Denver, converting only 13 of their 19 attempts. Sacramento shot 97 free throws in their first two meetings this season again the Nuggets.

NOTES: Nuggets C Jusuf Nurkic made his second start. Nurkic, a 20-year-old rookie drafted 16th overall by Chicago and traded, was thrust into the starting lineup after Denver traded C Timofey Mozgov to Cleveland this week. He averaged 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in 23.0 minutes off the bench in his past five contests, including an eight-point, four-rebound game against Orlando in his first start Wednesday. … The Kings, currently 27th in the 30-team NBA in turnovers, had committed at least 16 of them in eight of their first 11 games under new coach Tyrone Corbin. Sacramento is 5-3 when holding opponents to 13 turnovers or fewer. … Nuggets F Arron Afflalo scored 70 points on 34-for-57 shooting (60 percent) in three games before facing Sacramento. Afflalo moved ahead of Voshon Lenard for eighth on the Nuggets’ all-time 3-point list with his one 3-point shot against Sacramento. … The Kings again played without G Ramon Sessions (low back strain) and F Omri Casspi (left knee bone contusion). Sessions has missed eight straight games and Casspi four straight.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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