Lawson scores 27 as Nuggets beat Kings 125-117

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 27, 2014 at 12:05 am •  Published: January 27, 2014
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Even with a new coach, the Denver Nuggets still love to push the basketball.

That's exactly what they did best Sunday night against short-handed Sacramento.

Ty Lawson scored 27 points and Wilson Chandler had 20 for the Nuggets, who used their fast-paced philosophy to beat the struggling Kings 125-117.

Following an emotional home win over Indiana on Saturday and a late-night flight to Sacramento, the Nuggets played the up-tempo game that was encouraged for years by George Karl and has continued under rookie coach Brian Shaw.

Denver shot nearly 52 percent, made 10 3-pointers and bothered the Kings enough at the defensive end to force 16 turnovers — many of them contributing to Denver's 33 fast-break points. It was a season high allowed by the Kings, who have had trouble all season slowing down opponents.

The Nuggets are 12-2 this season when scoring at least 110 points.

"We come out and run and play with energy, that's our game," Lawson said. "If we don't do that, we're not going to win many games."

It was the second consecutive victory for the Nuggets, who went ahead late in the third quarter and never trailed again. Denver was coming off a 109-96 victory over the Pacers, who have the best record in the NBA.

The Nuggets (22-21) now return home for games against Charlotte, Toronto, the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee.

"It's the first time this year we have followed up a good win with another one," Shaw said. "If we take care of business at home we can really build some momentum."

The Kings, who have dropped three straight and five of six, played their second consecutive game without leading scorers DeMarcus Cousins (ankle sprain) and Rudy Gay (Achilles strain). The two combine for nearly 43 points per game and are day to day.

Chandler scored seven points in the fourth quarter and Kenneth Faried finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets. Timofey Mozgov added 14 points, while Nate Robinson and Randy Foye had 12 apiece.

"We're starting to come around as a team," said Chandler, who made three 3-pointers and added five of Denver's 28 assists. "We're getting used to each other. We have 10 or 11 guys who can play and we don't lose a thing, no matter who is on the court."

Isaiah Thomas had 22 points and eight assists for Sacramento, and Marcus Thornton scored 19. Ben McLemore added 18 points, Jason Thompson had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Derrick Williams scored 12.