SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Jamal Murray scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter and the Denver Nuggets held on to beat the Sacramento Kings 105-92 on Saturday night.
Gary Harris had 24 points, Nikola Jokic added 20 points and 14 rebounds and Danilo Gallinari scored 15 as the Nuggets beat the Kings for the second time in six days to even the season series between the teams.
It was also Denver coach Mike Malone’s second straight win over his former team after going 0-4 against Sacramento.
More importantly for Denver, the Nuggets increased their lead to two games over Portland for the final playoff spot in the West.
Denver led by as much as 14 before Sacramento pulled within two at 79-77 with nine minutes remaining. Murray made a 3-pointer and Harris added two free throws following a steal.
After Willie Cauley-Stein scored for the Kings, Murray made two free throws and a layup to help the Nuggets pull away.
Buddy Hield had 17 points and six rebounds for Sacramento, which lost its eighth straight. The Kings are 1-8 since trading All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans.
The Nuggets beat the Kings 108-96 in Denver on March 6 behind a career-high 36 points from Wilson Chandler. This time, Chandler was limited to six points on 3-of-13 shooting in the rematch, but it hardly mattered.
Sacramento shot 39.5 percent in the first half and trailed the entire second half.
Denver led by 14 early despite shooting 5 of 17 beyond the arc in the first half. Jokic provided a big lift inside and nearly had a double-double before the break while helping Denver to a 54-44 lead.
Nuggets: Harris had nine points, including a dunk, a 3-pointer and two backdoor layups on bounce passes from Mason Plumlee as part of an 11-3 run in the third quarter. He finished 10 of 15 from the floor. … Malone coached the Kings for one year before getting fired 24 games into the 2014-15 season.
Kings: Tyreke Evans scored 16 points after being held out a night earlier, a regular routine for the veteran forward who is not playing in back-to-back games this season. … Former five-time All-Star and Sacramento favorite Chris Webber attended the game and sat courtside next to owner Vivek Ranadive.