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Nuggets 101, Kings 95

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Danilo Gallinari scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, and the Denver Nuggets overcame another sluggish performance to win their 15th straight with a 101-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

Kenneth Faried had 17 points and nine rebounds as Denver extended its franchise-best win streak. The Nuggets have won club-record 17 in a row at home.

They had to overcome a big night from DeMarcus Cousins, who finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Kings.

Denver barely kept the streak alive with a miraculous comeback against Philadelphia on Thursday and needed some late heroics again Saturday.

They trailed by two early in the fourth before going on a 7-0 run to take an 81-76 lead.

Sacramento stayed close, getting to within two a couple of times before Denver pulled away. A layup by Kosta Koufos and a fast-break dunk by Faried pushed the lead to 95-88 with 3:44 left.

Two layups by Cousins made it 95-92, but with a chance to get it closer he missed another. Andre Miller hit a driving layup and a free throw with 51 seconds to make it 98-92.

John Salmons, who finished with 18 points, hit a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to cut it to four but Miller sank two more foul shots.

The Nuggets led by 15 late in the first half but the Kings went on an 11-0 run into the third quarter to get within reach.

Denver went back up by eight but Salmons' 3-pointer with 2:15 left in the third gave Sacramento its first lead of the game, 64-63, and it grew to 71-66 on driving layup by Cousins. Five free throws helped the Nuggets cut the deficit to one heading into the fourth.

NOTES: Denver guard Ty Lawson went through some workouts on the Nuggets practice court pregame but his right heel was too sore to let him play. He was dressed and on the bench but didn't get in. ... Denver forward Wilson Chandler said he could be back against San Antonio on Wednesday. ... The Kings have scored at least 100 points in 17 of their last 20 games. Since the All-Star break the Kings are first in the league in scoring at 110 points a game. Sacramento coach Keith Smart said his team's offensive success isn't predicated on Denver's model, which is pushing the pace. "Denver really runs," he said. "I don't think we run as much as they do, we're actually making shots. The 3-point shot has been good or our basketball team. We're realizing our points-per-possession more so than we're running more." ... The Nuggets are first in the league in fast-break points per game (19.7) and second in points off turnovers (also 19.7).
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