SACRAMENTO — Ty Lawson had 24 points and Danilo Gallinari added 23 for the Denver Nuggets as they won their sixth straight game, defeating the Sacramento Kings, 120-113, on Tuesday night.
The deep and talented Nuggets used a 36-point third quarter to build a lead against the Kings that they never relinquished in winning their season-best third straight road game. They scored 70 second-half points when they shot nearly 64 percent.
Marcus Thornton continued his torrid scoring of late, making five 3-pointers and getting 32 points for the Kings, who have lost eight of their last 10 games. They own the worst record in the Western Conference.
Isaiah Thomas had 23 points, Jason Thompson had 18 and John Salmons scored 11.
The Denver interior defense helped make it a difficult evening for Kings leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins. He missed 11 of 12 shots, was 6 of 10 from the free throw line, and finished with eight points, 13 rebounds and a career-high five blocks.
The streaking Nuggets have won seven of eight games, including 11 in a row at home, where they own a 26-3 record, which ties Miami for the best mark in the NBA.
Kenneth Faried had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Andre Miller scored 16 and Kosta Koufos had 15 points and eight rebounds for Denver.
Denver extended the lead to 10 points or more several times in the fourth period, but behind the shooting of Thornton, the Kings didn’t fold. A 3-pointer by Salmons midway through the quarter Sacramento to 101-95.
Thompson made all seven shots and scored 14 points for the Kings, who kept the Denver running game in check during a 50-50 first half.
Off the court, Mayor Kevin Johnson announced last week that 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and billionaire Ron Burkle made an offer to the NBA to purchase the Kings. At a city council meeting Tuesday night, Sacramento City Manager John Shirey said he intends to bring a financing term sheet for a new downtown sports arena to a vote at the council’s March 26 meeting.
Seattle hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer signed an agreement in January to buy the Kings from the Maloof family, the majority owners.
The NBA board of governors is expected to vote in mid-April on the fate of the Kings.