THE Sacramento Kings pulled away early in the second quarter and held off the Denver Nuggets rally late to end up with a 120-113 win at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
Trailing 36-35 with more than nine minutes left in the second quarter, DeMarcus Cousins powered a 16-0 blitz for the Kings, who led by as much as 16 before taking a nine-point edge, 60-51, at the half.
Cousins found ample support from Kousta Koufos and Arron Afflalo early to keep the Nuggets at bay the rest of the way, but Denver was still within reach late in the fourth, thanks to Nikola Jokic.
With the Nuggets within five, 108-103, at the 3:49 mark of the fourth, Afflalo and Darren Collison sparked a 12-5 run to close out the period strong and help the Kings snap a two-game skid.
Cousins led the way for Sacramento, who are now at 15-19, with 31 points. Collison added 26 markers, while Afflalo scored 19 off the bench. Koufos chipped in 18 points as well.
Danilo Gallinari had 24 points to lead Denver, who lost its third in a row and fell to 14-21. Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic scored 18 and 16, respectively, while Gary Harris added 15 markers.