Kings-Nuggets Preview

Just when the Denver Nuggets’ historic winning streak appeared

to be coming to an end, Corey Brewer found a way to keep it

going.

The Nuggets may not need similar late-game heroics against the

visiting Sacramento Kings, who have the worst road record in the

Western Conference.

Denver will try to extend its longest win streak since joining

the NBA to 15 games and its home run to 17 as it takes on the Kings

on Saturday night.

Trailing by five points with less than 10 seconds left on

Thursday, Brewer made a 3-pointer before hitting three free throws

with 2.1 seconds left to put the Nuggets ahead in a 101-100 victory

over Philadelphia to keep the streak alive.

“To be honest, I didn’t think we had any chance of winning,”

said Brewer, who finished with a career-high 29 points, sank 5 of 6

from 3-point range and added five steals.

Andre Miller, who filled in for injured leading scorer Ty

Lawson, chipped in 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting and eight assists

as Denver (48-22) improved to 31-3 at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets, who continue to put pressure on Northwest

Division-leading Oklahoma City, look to keep rolling against a

Sacramento team that is 6-29 on the road.

While the Kings have won three of four entering the contest,

they’ve lost eight straight in Denver and 12 of 13 on the road

overall.

Isaiah Thomas had a game-high 24 points and Tyreke Evans scored

19 of his 21 in the second half as Sacramento defeated Minnesota

101-98 on Thursday for its second straight win.

“Our offense has gotten a lot better, we’re spacing the floor

and playing more unselfish,” Thomas said. “And we’re really

getting dialed in on defense. We’ve been able to turn our defense

into our offense.”

After dropping the first three meetings by an average of 20.0

points, the Kings (25-44) hope to avoid getting swept by the

Nuggets for the second straight season.

Denver took both contests in Sacramento, 122-97 on Dec. 16 and

120-113 on March 5. The Nuggets, who have shot 44.6 percent from

3-point range and 53.7 percent overall in the three wins over the

Kings, also cruised 121-93 at the Pepsi Center on Jan. 26.

Lawson has totaled 50 points on 19-of-31 shooting in the last

two meetings, but is a game-time decision because of a bruised

right heel.

Reserve forward Wilson Chandler will miss his second consecutive

contest with a shoulder injury.

Danilo Gallinari has scored 18.3 points per game, hit 8 of 13

from 3-point range and all 15 of his free throws in the season

series, but he’s averaging just 11.9 points on 28.8 percent

shooting in his last seven games overall.

They should be able to maintain that efficiency since the Kings

have allowed an average of 115.9 points on 50.7 percent shooting in

their last eight road contests.

Thomas has averaged 17.7 points against the Nuggets this season,

while Marcus Thornton has scored 21.3 per game and shot 14 for 29

from 3-point range in his last four trips to Denver.

Though it hasn’t translated into many victories, the Kings have

averaged 108.2 points – 13.4 above their road season average – in

their last five there.

Sacramento has lost by an average of 17.7 points during its

overall skid to the Nuggets and by 16.5 points in its eight

consecutive losses in Denver.