SACRAMENTO -- There was a major problem inside the Denver Nuggets locker room following their sixth consecutive victory.
There was a shortage of In-and-Out burgers.
The Nuggets had just scrapped out a 120-113 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night before an announced crowd of 11,923 at Sleep Train Arena.
On the other side, it appeared the Kings were somewhat content to have stayed connected to the high-flying Nuggets. The Kings had lost two previous games to the Nuggets by 25 and 28, respectively.
Sacramento remained relatively close throughout the contest, but once it fell behind by double-digits in the third quarter, the best the Kings could do was get within 101-97 with 5:36 left in the fourth.
Veteran guard Andre Miller then scored back-to-back baskets and the Kings never again truly threatened.
Miller went 5 of 5 from the field in the fourth quarter and added four assists to keep the Kings at bay. Miller was the only Nugget to score in double figure off the bench with 16 points.
"Running and playing at a fast pace is what we're committed to do," he said. "I'd say there are three or four teams who slow us down. (The Kings) are getting there. They've just got to stay healthy and keep working."
Nuggets coach George Karl said his team has valuable asset in Miller and his teammates.
"That's kind of how our team is," Karl said of its versatility. "You never know who is going to grab the steering wheel and who is going to drive us home. People don't think that's good. I think it's a pretty versatile asset to have."
Kings coach Keith Smart saw the Nuggets come away with 12 steals, five by Andre Iguodala, and 30 assists to just 12 turnovers.
"They have a team where anybody can make a play," Smart said. "I think the West is going to be wide open and they can play with anybody. Their bigs can play with any bigs in the West. And if they can get home (court advantage) with the style they play with, they definitely can be tough."
The Nuggets (40-22) became just the fourth Western Conference team to reach the 40-win mark and improved to 14-19 on the road.
The Kings (21-41), meanwhile, dropped to 15-14 at home.
The Nuggets used a varied offensive attack, led by point guard Ty Lawson's 24 points. Lawson, who was the Western Conference Player of the Week, had a prolific offensive game despite making just 6 of 12 free throws.
Danilo Gallinari scored 23 points, while forward Kenneth Faried scored 19 points and grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds.
Marcus Thornton scored a game-high 32 points in 35 minutes off the bench for the Kings. Isaiah Thomas scored 23, while forward Jason Thompson scored 18 on 9 of 11 field goals.
Denver's interior defense shut down Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. He made just 1 of 12 field-goal attempts and often was unable to get clean looks around the basket against center Kosta Koufas, Faried or JaVale McGee.
Denver's defense was particularly effective in the third quarter. The Nuggets did not allow a Kings field goal until the 6:15 mark of the period. Denver outscored Sacramento, 36-29, during the period after the game was tied 50-50 at halftime.
NOTES: The Kings entered Tuesday night's game averaging 110.7 points per game in their past 11 games and 118.8 points a game in their previous four. ... Denver has won its last eight games against the Kings. The Kings last defeated the Nuggets on Jan. 6, 2011 in Sacramento. The Nuggets had scored 119 or more points vs. the Kings in each of their past five meetings. ... The Kings had shot .472 (68-114) from 3-point range in their past six games. ... Denver is 23-3 when allowing fewer than 100 points. ... Kings coach Keith Smart was discussing the improvement of second-year guard Jimmer Fredette when he posed a question to the assembled media. "How do you make a guy a defender? Most of your defenders play it instinctively. It's here (as he pointed to his heart). You have to want to be a defender. Defenders have to be the aggressors."