Sacramento: The Denver Nuggets rallied in the third quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings 99-90 and record their fifth consecutive victory on Friday.
The back-and-forth first half featured nine ties and four lead changes and concluded with the Kings holding a 51-48 advantage.
The Nuggets seized control with a dominant third quarter, outscoring the Kings 31-16. Denver's starters had combined for just 19 points in the first half but found their scoring touch after the break, grabbing all 31 points in the quarter.
"They were more aggressive than we were. They came out and were hitting us first and it was effective," said Kings coach Paul Westphal of the Nuggets' third quarter performance.
"I thought that they were very effective at that. Grabbing a wrist, pushing from behind or whatever. I'm not crying about it, I'm just saying that they were really good at it and I thought that they did get in our heads a little bit."
Sacramento pushed back in the fourth, trimming Denver's lead to six points with five minutes left, but Raymond Felton secured the win for the visitors, scoring Denver's final nine points among his team-high 17 points.
"They were contesting our penetration," said Nuggets coach George Karl.
"I think Raymond took on the responsibility of making plays and made the game easy."
Francisco Garcia led seven Kings players in double digits with 17 points.The Nuggets maintained their 2.5-game lead over Portland for fifth place in the Western Conference.
- INDIANA 89 Milwaukee 88
- ORLANDO 89 Charlotte 77
- P'DELPHIA 115 New Jersey 90
- WASH'TON 115 Cleveland 107
Home team in CAPS