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Kings struggle down the stretch, lose to Nuggets 125-117

The Nuggets opened up a lead at the start of the fourth quarter, and the Kings were never able to close the gap.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Final - 1.26.2014 1 2 3 4 Total
Denver Nuggets 30 35 30 30 125
Sacramento Kings 31 28 34 24 117

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The Kings lost to the Denver Nuggets 125-117.  The game was a back-and-forth affair through the third, but the Kings fell apart early in the fourth quarter.  It's a disappointing loss considering the Nuggets were on the second game of a back-to-back.

Ben McLemore had a nice game, finishing with 18 points, three rebounds and three assists.  Marcus Thornton, fresh off his enormous scoring outburst against the Pacers, finished with 19 points on 13 shots.  Isaiah Thomas chipped in 22 points and eight assists.  Isaiah also extended his streak of consecutive games with a three pointer to 37 games, and is now two games shy of Mitch Richmond for the franchise record.

Jason Thompson added 13 points.  Derrick Williams scored 12.  Travis Outlaw scored 10.  What I'm trying to convey is that offense was not the issue for the Kings in this game.

The Nuggets were led by 27 points from Ty Lawson.  I am sure this stat will lead to zero discussion of Isaiah's defense in the discussion threads.

The Kings were once again without DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay.  Coach Malone was hoping Gay might be back for this game.  Although Gay sat out another game, he should be returning soon, with Cousins hopefully returning not much later.  While the close losses are disappointing, it's encouraging that the team has remained fun and competitive even while missing two of their best three players.

On a personal note, may I implore Kings fans to stop trying to do the wave, especially when the Kings are losing?  And when the Kings are shooting free throws?  A wave is far more distracting than any distraction opposing fans might attempt.  And yet one occurred while the Kings were down and Jason Thompson was shooting free throws.  He missed.

We'll have a full recap up Monday morning.  And as a reminder, the Kings are back in action Monday night against the Utah Jazz.