Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Tyreke Evans scored 27 points and dished out 12 assists, as Sacramento downed Denver, 122-102.
DeMarcus Cousins chipped in with 20 points and six rebounds, while Beno Udrih added 17 points for the Kings, who shot a season-best 56.4 percent from the floor and posted a season-high point total. Francisco Garcia and Carl Landry each recorded 14 points and Omri Casspi totaled 13 and six rebounds for the Kings, who have won two of three overall.
Carmelo Anthony posted 26 points, nearly half of them in the third quarter, Nene contributed 17 points and eight rebounds and Chauncey Billups collected 16 points for the Nuggets, who have lost two consecutive games.
Sacramento scored the game’s first five points and the race was on. Sacramento held a slim 29-27 edge after the first quarter then exploded offensively in the second stanza.
The Kings rolled in front by double figures at 49-39 on a nifty reverse layup by Evans, Sacramento’s 19th and 20th points in under five minutes of the second stanza. Seven straight points capped by two Evans free throws handed the home team a 63-49 advantage with just over 2 1/2 minutes to play. Thompson’s jumper with 15.4 seconds to go punctuated a 40-point quarter for the Kings, and they held a 69-55 lead at the half.
With his team on the ropes, Anthony took control in the third, scoring 12 points from a variety of places on the floor. He scored eight points in a 12-0 burst, including a elbow jumper that narrowed the deficit to 75-73. He connected on a jumper moments later to tie the game at 79-79, but Sacramento quickly turned it around, discovering its shooting strokes from the second quarter with 12 straight points. Evans slashed coast-to-coast for a layup and a 91-79 lead in the final seconds of the third period.
The Kings continued the momentum in the fourth period, tallying the first 11 points for a 23-2 run spanning both quarters and a 102-81 lead. Two baskets in the paint, the first a short hook by Cousins and the latter a slam by Casspi, capped the stretch.
Denver, back on its heels, never threatened the rest of the way.
These two teams have played a nearly even series as of late. Denver has still won 11 of the last 21 meetings, but Sacramento has come out victorious in 14 of the last 26 contests…Denver point guard Ty Lawson played relatively limited minutes after suffering a strained left knee in a loss to the Clippers on Wednesday…Sacramento has won four straight over Denver at ARCO Arena. Denver is just 3-24 in its last 27 trips to California’s capital…Denver’s Al Harrington scored 15 points in defeat.