Though still short-handed, the Denver Nuggets appear to have
moved past their recent struggles.
A matchup with the Sacramento Kings might help push those woes
further into the rear-view mirror.
The Nuggets will try to record their fourth straight win overall
and continue their mastery of the Kings on Monday night in
Before its current three-game win streak, Denver (21-17) had won
only four times in its previous 16 games. The Nuggets have turned
their fortunes around with balanced efforts. At least six Denver
players have scored in double figures in each of the three wins,
with Ty Lawson averaging 20.7 points and 11.7 assists to lead the
The point guard, who returned from a sprained left ankle at the
beginning of the streak, had a team highs of 22 points and 11
assists in Sunday’s 99-94 victory at San Antonio.
While Lawson is healthy again, the Nuggets’ streak has come
while leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (foot), starting big man Nene
(calf) and reserve Rudy Fernandez (back) are all sidelined by
“It’s huge. Huge for us,” Lawson said. “Especially having three
rotation players and two starters out. But we’re starting to
With 11 points in a little more than 15 minutes, Lawson was one
of seven Nuggets to reach double figures in a 122-93 rout at
Sacramento on Jan. 25. Three weeks earlier, the Nuggets drubbed the
Kings 110-83 at the Pepsi Center.
Denver has six in a row at home over Sacramento (12-25) and four
straight in the series overall. The Nuggets would appear to have a
good chance to continue both of those streaks, as the Kings have
dropped nine of their last 11 games overall and are 4-19 on the
road this season.
They suffered their third straight defeat Sunday, losing 96-88
at Phoenix to fall to 0-2 on their current three-game trip.
Sacramento scored 32 points in the first quarter but didn’t produce
more than 20 in any subsequent period and shot 33 percent in the
While the offense struggled, Kings coach Keith Smart was
generally pleased with his team’s play at the other end of the
“You’re going to give up something,” he said. “I thought our
guys did a great job to maintain and do the things necessary, but
we had a few breakdowns late.”
Marcus Thornton, with 21 points, was one of the standouts for
the Kings in the loss, and he’s averaged 19.9 over his last 16
games. The swingman, who sat out the Jan. 25 home loss to Denver
because of a bruised left thigh, has scored a combined 50 points in
his last two visits to the Pepsi Center, including 23 in the Jan. 4
Nine Nuggets have scoring averages in double figures against the
Kings this season, but those nine include all three injured