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Nuggets beat Kings 118-108 for 4th straight win

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson each scored 22 points, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Sacramento Kings 118-108 on Friday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

The Nuggets erased a six-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Kings 36-15 in the third period. Kenneth Faried’s three-point play put Denver ahead by 20 with just over six minutes to play.

Rookie center Jusuf Nurkic and JJ Hickson had 16 points apiece for the Nuggets, who shot 55 percent from the field. Faried finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points, 13 rebounds and a season-high four blocks for the Kings, who are 4-8 since coach Tyrone Corbin replaced Michael Malone on Dec. 15. Rudy Gay scored 22 points, and Darren Collison had 15 points and seven assists.

The Kings were coming off one of their best games of the season, holding Oklahoma City to 32.6 percent shooting in a 104-83 win Wednesday.

Denver’s starting backcourt has played quite well of late. Afflalo is averaging 23 points on 55 percent shooting in his last five games. Lawson is averaging 19.6 points and 8.6 assists over the same stretch.

Afflalo had 11 first-quarter points against Sacramento, and Lawson scored 14 in the third.

Denver ran off eight straight points to open the second half. Lawson scored 12 points in the first five minutes of the third, when the Nuggets took advantage of lackluster defense by the Kings, making 13 of 22 shots and winning the rebound battle 16-5.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Denver could see the return of two significant players – center JaVale McGee and forward Danilo Gallinari – in the next week. McGee (left tibia) has missed 17 consecutive games, and Gallinari (torn meniscus) has been out since Dec. 22.

Kings: Struggling rookie Nik Stauskas had 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting in almost 20 minutes of action. … Cousins was 12 for 25 from the field. In his previous two games he had missed 29 of 40 shots.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host Dallas on Wednesday.

Kings: Host Cleveland on Sunday.

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