SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Jamal Murray scored four of his 18 points in the final 31 seconds, Gary Harris added a pair of late free throws and the Denver Nuggets held on after nearly blowing a big lead in the fourth quarter, beating the winless Sacramento Kings 101-94 on Monday night.
The Nuggets (3-0) shook off a sluggish first half, took control in the third quarter with a stifling defense, then held off a late rally by the Kings to remain unbeaten.
Harris scored 17 points as Denver won its fifth straight against Sacramento. Nikola Jokic had nine points on 4-for-15 shooting with 13 rebounds and Will Barton added 13 points and nine rebounds.
Richaun Holmes had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings (0-4). De’Aaron Fox added 20 points and nine assists, and Harrison Barnes and Nemanja Bjelica each scored 12.
Denver led comfortably midway through the fourth quarter before Holmes scored five points as part of a 10-0 run that cut the Nuggets’ lead to 90-88.
Holmes later scored on a soaring one-handed dunk that made it 95-92, before Murray’s deep shot just inside the 3-point line. After Barnes scored on a putback, Harris and Murray each hit two free throws.
Nuggets: Denver outscored Sacramento 30-17 in the third quarter. ... Murray and Barton were a combined 2 of 12 in the first half when Denver shot 32.7% from the floor.
Kings: The last time Sacramento started 0-4 was in 2008-09, when Reggie Theus was the coach. ... Trevor Ariza made three 3s in the first quarter. He went into the night 1 of 7 from beyond the arc. ... Holmes was called for a technical for taunting after dunking against Denver’s Mason Plumlee. ... Marvin Bagley III missed his second consecutive game with a broken thumb. Harry Giles (left knee soreness) was also held out.
Nuggets: Host Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.
Kings: Host Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.