Mitch Richmond made eight straight free throws in the final 1:38 and finished with 27 points as the Sacramento Kings defeated the Denver Nuggets 87-84 Thursday night.
After Dean Garrett tied the game 83-83 on a pair of free throws with 37 seconds left, Richmond was fouled going to the basket. He made two free throws as the Kings regained the lead for good with 24.6 seconds left.
On Denver's next possession, LaPhonso Ellis was fouled going to the basket and made one free throw.
Richmond, the league's sixth-leading free-throw shooter who had 11 fourth-quarter points, made two more free throws as Sacramento led 87-84 with 5.6 seconds remaining.
Denver's Anthony Goldwire missed a desperation 3-pointer with two seconds left and Richmond secured the rebound to end the game.
Corliss Williamson scored 16 points for the Kings and Anthony Johnson had 15.
Goldwire scored 16 points for Denver, which had won three of its previous seven games. Ellis finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
After trailing by seven points at intermission, Ellis scored eight third-quarter points as the Nuggets cut Sacramento's lead to 67-66 entering the final period.
A strong opening quarter helped the Kings take a 53-46 lead into halftime. Sacramento used eight points each from Richmond and Johnson to build a 26-17 first-quarter advantage.
Notes: Johnson made all four of his first quarter shots. In the previous four games, he connected on just 4 of 30 field-goal attempts. ... Johnny Newman scored a first-quarter basket to become the 47th player in NBA history to surpass the 10,000 career point mark. ... The Nuggets had only three offensive rebounds in the first half. ... After making 50 percent of their shots in the first quarter, the Kings went 15 of 46 in the middle two periods.
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