);
Denver Nuggets

Jamal Murray's 34-point second half pushes Nuggets past Kings

jamal-murray-010319-ftr-nba-getty
Jamal Murray and the Nuggets remain atop the Western Conference (NBA Getty Images)

It was a tale of two halves for Jamal Murray (Kitchener, Ont.) and the Denver Nuggets (25-11) in the team's 117-113 road win over the Sacramento Kings (19-19) Thursday night.

The Nuggets entered the halftime break trailing 66-53 -- Murray had scored just two points and failed to connect on any of his four field goal attempts while the team shot 5-for-20 from deep in the first 24 minutes.

The second half was a much different story.

Murray exploded for 34 points (on 12-for-20 shooting) as Denver outscored Sacramento 64-47 in the second half to earn its fourth consecutive win and remain atop the Western Conference.

Five days after scoring 46 points in a win over the Suns, the Kitchener native finished the night with 36 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. The Nuggets also benefitted from the play of Nikola Jokic, who finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in the win.

Denver shot 9-for-19 from deep in the second half and outscored Sacramento 23-6 in second-chance points; the Nuggets grabbed 16 offensive rebounds on the night and outrebounded the Kings 54-33.

Buddy Hield's 29 points (on 12-for-19 shooting) led the way for Sacramento, who falls to .500 for the first time since Dec. 1. Second-year guard De'Aaron Fox added 16 points to go and a game-high eight assists.

The Kings, who are in the middle of a four-game homestand, take the floor again Saturday when they host the defending champion Warriors. The Nuggets return home to host the Hornets on Saturday.

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