Nuggets-Kings Preview

After beating one of the top teams in the Western Conference,

the Denver Nuggets hope to take their home-court success on the

road.

They might have that opportunity against the struggling

Sacramento Kings.

The Nuggets will try to win their sixth straight in this series

and send the Kings to a fourth consecutive loss on Sunday

night.

After winning twice on a five-game trip, Denver (12-12) heads

back on the road following a 99-94 victory over Memphis on

Friday.

Andre Miller scored 18 points, including four free-throws in the

final 10 seconds to key a statement-making victory over the

Grizzlies.

“Against a really good team, that was a really good win for us,”

said Danilo Gallinari, who had 14 points. “We were able to do the

right things at the right time at the end of the game.”

The Nuggets have been able to do all the right things at home,

winning six of seven there while averaging 103.1 points.

However, they’ve had trouble continuing that success on the

road, where they are 6-11.

Defense has been the team’s biggest problem away from Denver,

allowing 103.5 points in road games compared to 94.0 at home.

Andre Iguodala has been one of the biggest culprits. The

first-year Nugget has averaged 16.9 points and 9.3 rebounds with a

52.9 field-goal percentage at home, but has been limited to 12.6

points and 5.3 boards while shooting 39.2 percent in road

games.

Denver is one of the league’s best offensive teams and that

could continue against a Sacramento squad that has allowed 110.0

points during its three-game losing streak.

That skid followed a season-high three-game win streak for the

Kings (7-15), who capped a four-game trip with a 113-103 loss at

Oklahoma City on Friday.

Sacramento did rally back from a 24-point deficit to cut the

Thunder’s lead to 103-98 in the fourth quarter.

“I thought our guys played and competed,” coach Keith Smart

said.

Isaiah Thomas sparked the comeback, scoring a season-high 26

points on 10-of-13 shooting off the bench. He scored 23 in the

fourth quarter – two shy of Mitch Richmond’s Sacramento-era

record for points in a period.

The guard had totaled 15 points in his previous three games.

“The big thing with me, I score in bunches, so if I make a

couple, I feel like I can keep it going,” Thomas told the team’s

official website.

Tyreke Evans finished with 21 points, giving him 38 in two games

since returning from missing five of six contests because of a knee

injury.

Evans has averaged 18.5 points in eight career games against the

Nuggets, including a 27-point performance in 119-116 overtime loss

in the teams’ last meeting March 5.

While DeMarcus Cousins finished with 10 points in his return

from a one-game suspension Friday, the Kings are expected to be

without reserve guard Marcus Thornton (personal) for a third

straight game.

Cousins had 17 points and 15 rebounds in the Kings’ 122-93 loss

to Denver in the only meeting in Sacramento last season.

The Nuggets have scored at least 100 points in 18 of their last

19 meetings with the Kings and had 99 in the lone exception.