Notebook: Nuggets 101, Kings 95



Posted Mar 24, 2013 1:31 AM

By Michael Kelly, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points, while Kenneth Faried had 17 and nine rebounds as the Denver Nuggets overcame a sluggish third quarter to win their 15th straight with a 101-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings Saturday night.

Andre Iguodala had 15 points and eight assists for the Nuggets (49-22), who tied the franchise mark for wins set by the Denver Rockets of the ABA back in the 1969-70 season. Denver had six players score in double figures, including all five starters to win its 17th in a row at home. The Nuggets held onto the third spot in the Western Conference with 11 games to go.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings (25-45) with 24 points and 15 rebounds while John Salmons scored 18.

QUOTABLE: "I think the streak could be a problem now. Guys are getting a big head and too much complacency. We need to settle down, tighten our minds and grind it out. We have to remind ourselves that we aren't at the top of the world, not at the top of the conference stranding. We have to get there before we can think like that."

-- Kenneth Faried

THE STAT: The Kings have been hot behind the 3-point line since the All-Star break, hitting 41 percent from there before Saturday. Against the Nuggets they shot 28.6 percent.

TURNING POINT: Andre Miller, the oldest player on the Denver roster by eight years, played like a savvy veteran down the stretch. With the Nuggets leading by three, he assisted on two buckets and then converted a three-point play that made it 98-92 with 51 seconds left.

QUOTABLE II: "Miller was Miller in Miller time. He made plays down the stretch. He helps his team keep its composure or right where it needed to be."

-- Sacramento coach Keith Smart

HOT: Cousins was difficult to stop. He was 10-or-16 from the field and powered his way to the basket. It was his second straight game of at least 14 rebounds. He also tied a career high with five blocked shots.

NOT: Hard to imagine winning 15 straight could have a negative tone to it, but the Nuggets needed another late push to beat a losing team. Thursday, it took six points in the final 10 seconds to beat Philadelphia. Saturday, a poor second and third quarter forced them to come up with some fourth-quarter magic.

QUOTABLE III: "What I've been telling the team, telling them for three days, the next 12 games I don't want to hear about rest. I don't want to hear we're tired. I want our attitude to be the best basketball we've played all year, and if you don't want to do that then I'll play somebody else. I don't want to hear about my body hurts, I'm sore -- everybody plays the same amount of games, and resting's not going to get us ready for the opportunities. If we had a bunch of 30-year-olds I might have a different opinion, but we have a bunch of 25-year-olds."

-- Nuggets coach George Karl

INSIDE THE ARENA: Colorado governor John Hickenlooper was seated courtside.

GOOD MOVE: With Ty Lawson (strained right heel) and Wilson Chandler (left shoulder separation) out for the second straight game, the Nuggets got some quality minutes from two players who haven't seen much court time. Juylan Stone played 14 minutes to spell Miller at point guard, and Anthony Randolph had eight points and six rebounds in another solid performance.

NOTABLE: The Kings scored less than 100 points for just the third time in the last 20 games. ... The Nuggets are two wins shy of tying the L.A. Clippers for the longest winning streak in the Western Conference this season. ... Cousins has 31 double-doubles this season. ... Denver's 17-game home winning streak is two shy of the franchise record set in the 1989-90 season.

UP NEXT: For the Kings, Sunday vs. Phoenix, Wednesday @ Golden State, Thursday @ Phoenix. For the Nuggets, Monday vs. @ New Orleans, Wednesday @ San Antonio, Friday vs. Brooklyn.