Lawson leads charge as Nuggets complete successful back-to-back set

By The Associated Press

Posted Jan. 26, 2014 22:23

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Ty Lawson scored 27 points, Wilson Chandler had 20 and the Denver Nuggets defeated the short-handed Sacramento Kings 125-117 on Sunday night.

It was the second consecutive victory for the Nuggets, who went ahead late in the third quarter and never trailed again. Denver was coming off a 109-96 home win Saturday night over Indiana, which has the best record in the NBA.

The Kings, who have dropped three straight and five of six, played their second straight game without leading scorers DeMarcus Cousins (ankle sprain) and Rudy Gay (Achilles strain). The two combine for nearly 43 points per game.

Chandler scored seven points in the fourth quarter and Kenneth Faried finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets. Timofey Mozgov added 14 points, while Nate Robinson and Randy Foye had 12 apiece.

Isaiah Thomas had 22 points and eight assists for Sacramento, and Marcus Thornton scored 19. Ben McLemore added 18 points, Jason Thompson had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Derrick Williams scored 12.

The Nuggets now return home for games against Charlotte, Toronto, the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee.

Denver didn't have a field goal in the final 3:30 of the game, but stayed on top thanks to its foul shooting. The Nuggets made 14 of 19 free throws down the stretch, most of them in the final 3 minutes.

A pair of free throws by J.J. Hickson gave Denver a seven-point lead. Robinson made one of two attempts at the line with 1:02 left, putting the Nuggets up 119-113. Lawson hit two free throws and Chandler made four straight, increasing the lead to 10.

Leading by two points, the Nuggets opened the fourth quarter with a surge, taking a 111-102 lead on a 3-pointer by Robinson. But Denver went scoreless for more than 3 minutes before Lawson scored for a 113-107 advantage.

Lawson gave the Kings all sorts of trouble in the third quarter, scoring 12 points to help Denver take a 95-94 lead into the fourth. Thornton scored 10 for the Kings.

The Nuggets ran off eight unanswered points to open an eight-point lead in the third. But the Kings countered with a 15-2 run, including seven points from Thomas and six from Thornton, to pull ahead 80-75 at the 4:36 mark.

Foye had 12 first-half points and Lawson 11 for Denver, which led 65-59 at halftime. McLemore scored 10 off the bench for the Kings, who had 12 turnovers that led to 20 points.

NOTES: Thomas made a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter to extend his streak to 37 games, the second-most in franchise history. Mitch Richmond holds the team record with 39 consecutive games with a 3 during the 1996-97 season . . . In a fast-paced opening half, the Kings shot 59.5 percent and Denver was at 54.5 percent . . . Denver made 31 of 40 free throws.

STAR OF THE GAME

Ty Lawson

Points 27, 9-15 FG, 8-10 FT
Rebounds 3, 0 OFF 3 DEF
Assists 6
Steals 2
Blocks 0

GAME LEADERS

Points Ty Lawson 27
Rebounds Kenneth Faried 11
Assists Nate Robinson, Isaiah Thomas 8
Steals Eight players with 2
Blocks Timofey Mozgov 2

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Nuggets give new meaning to phrase 'balanced attack'

Playing on the second night of a back-to-back set, the Nuggets went nine deep, and got contributions across the board. All nine players scored at least eight points, including seven in double-figures.

KEY MOMENT

Mozgov swats away Sacramento's late rally

With Denver's offense sputtering, the Kings rallied within four with less than four minutes remaining when Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov came up with a big block against Marcus Thornton. Denver scored on its next two possessions, and Sacramento never got closer than five the rest of the way.

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