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Originally published Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

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McGee scores 19, Nuggets beat Kings 122-97

Reserve JaVale McGee scored 19 points, Danilo Gallinari had 18 and the Denver Nuggets built a big lead in the first half and cruised past the Sacramento Kings 122-97 Sunday.

The Associated Press

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

Reserve JaVale McGee scored 19 points, Danilo Gallinari had 18 and the Denver Nuggets built a big lead in the first half and cruised past the Sacramento Kings 122-97 Sunday.

The Nuggets scored 16 straight points to break away from a tie in the first quarter, and led by a comfortable margin the rest of the way.

Denver has won seven in a row against the Kings. Sacramento has lost four in a row overall.

Sacramento's Aaron Brooks committed a hard foul against Andre Miller late in the first quarter and a mild altercation ensued involving DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings and Kenneth Faried of the Nuggets. All four players were given technical fouls.

It was an lopsided victory for the road-tested Nuggets, who have opened the season playing 18 of their first 25 games away from Denver. Ahead by 18 points at the half, the Nuggets came out and produced a solid third quarter, outscoring the Kings 33-21 to take a 97-67 lead heading into the fourth.

Reserve Jordan Hamilton had a season-high 15 points and Kosta Koufos had 12 points for the Nuggets, who are 7-11 on the road this season. Andre Iguodala had 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Ty Lawson added 11 points and seven assists.

Isaiah Thomas had 20 points and Cousins had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings. Jason Thompson added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Starting Kings guard Tyreke Evans played the first 10 minutes, then left the game for good with a sore left knee. He missed five of the previous eight games because of his injured knee. Against the Nuggets, he missed all four shots.

The Kings were without Marcus Thornton for a third straight game. Their leading scorer off bench, Thornton left the team to be with his sick mother in Louisiana.

NOTES: The technical against Cousins was his seventh of the season. He was suspended by the NBA for one game last week for striking O.J. Mayo of Dallas in the groin. ... Kings coach Keith Smart was given a technical early in the third quarter. ... Koufos shot an airball on a free throw in the second quarter and was jeered by the crowd. He missed his second attempt as well when the shot barely hit the rim.

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