Notebook: Nuggets 121, Kings 93

Posted Jan 27, 2013 12:42 AM

Michael Kelly, for

THE FACTS: Ty Lawson scored 26 points and the Denver Nuggets used a dominant first three quarters to rout the Sacramento Kings 121-93 on Saturday night.

Andre Iguodala had 20 points and seven assists and Danilo Gallinari scored 14 points as the Nuggets had six players in double figures despite the regular rotation players sitting out the entire fourth quarter.

Aaron Brooks scored 16 points off the bench for the Kings, who have lost four straight. Tyreke Evans scored 15 for the Kings, who began a six-game road trip with one of their worst losses of the season.

The Nuggets led by 22 at the half and eclipsed the 100-point mark by the end of the third quarter. The Kings never got close enough for Denver to put its starters back into the game.

QUOTABLE: "We knew if we could take the heart early they wouldn't want to play too much or have too much fight, especially at altitude."
-- Ty Lawson

THE STAT: The Nuggets have beaten the Kings twice this season by an average of 26.5 points. Their two biggest margins of victory have come against Sacramento this year.

TURNING POINT: The Nuggets went after this one early. Knowing the Kings played Friday night and lost an hour in traveling to Denver, they ran as much as possible. They went on a 28-7 run in the first quarter to lead 35-15 after Lawson's third 3-pointer of the period. Sacramento got within 11 early in the second quarter but never really threatened.

QUOTABLE II: "Sacramento got caught in that back-to-back game. We were playing with a higher energy and with a higher skill set. They had a little bit of rhythm in the second quarter when they looked like they were going to fight, but in the third quarter we took the game to an out-of-control level."
-- Nuggets coach George Karl

HOT: The Nuggets as a team in the first quarter. They shot 73.9 percent on 17-for-23 shooting. Lawson led the way with 15 points and hit five straight shots to help build an early 20-point lead. They never really cooled off, putting up 101 points through the first three quarters.

NOT: DeMarcus Cousins was a nonfactor with three points and two rebounds. After a strong stretch of games in which he recorded six straight double-doubles, Cousins failed to hit double figures in either category against the Nuggets. It was his first time in his last 17 games he didn't score at least 10 points.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Lawson has shown he can put up big numbers in a hurry. Against Washington last week he had a 23 in the third quarter and then put up 15 in Saturday's first quarter.

GOOD MOVE: The Nuggets attacked the basket from the opening tip and didn't stop. They finished with 56 points in the paint.

QUOTABLE III: "We talked about how they run the floor. We just couldn't stop it. They ran the floor, they got rebounds, they got steals, one pass and layup dunk. We knew what they wanted to do. We just didn't stop it."
-- Tyreke Evans

BAD MOVE: Kings coach Keith Smart said before the game his team needed to take care of the ball on the road. Sacramento then went out and committed five turnovers in the first quarter that helped fuel Denver's big run.

QUOTABLE IV: "You have to play a controlled basketball game. I though our passes were shaky and that led to 25 points on 20 turnovers. Fatigue or whatever it might be, it happens sometimes in this building."
-- Keith Smart

ROOKIE WATCH: Thomas Robinson had a double-double for the Kings with 10 points and 10 rebounds. It was his second double-double in his last three games.

NOTABLE: The Nuggets set a season high for points in a half when they led 71-49 at intermission. They also tied a season high for points in a quarter with 39 in the first and 3-pointers made with 13. ... The 35-point deficit in the third quarter tied the largest deficit of the season for the Kings. ... Denver's starters outscored Sacramento's 81-43.

UP NEXT: For the Kings, Monday @ Washington, Wednesday @ Boston, Friday @ Philadelphia. For the Nuggets, Monday vs. Indiana, Wednesday vs. Houston, Friday vs. New Orleans.