The Kings played an even game through two quarters. But the problems that have plagued them all season eventually surfaced in what became another loss.

The Denver Nuggets exploited defensive mistakes and turnovers by the Kings, who lost for the eighth game in the last 10 games, 120-113, Tuesday night at Sleep Train Arena.

In the second half, the Nuggets displayed the kind of efficiency the Kings lack most nights offensively. Denver shot 64.3 percent in the half with only five turnovers and 19 assists. Conversely, the Kings shot 44.7 percent with nine assists and eight turnovers that led to 12 points for Denver.

With the score 50-50 at halftime, the Nuggets scored the first seven points of the third quarter as part of a 20-7 run.

"They did what they do – they get out and run, transition, make buckets," the Kings' Marcus Thornton said. "They got a nice little jump in the third quarter and a team like that, we can't play catch-up."

With their two leading scorers having off-nights, the Kings couldn't keep up.

DeMarcus Cousins had his worst shooting performance of the season (1 for 12) and finished with eight points, 13 rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots. Tyreke Evans attempted only five shots and had seven points.

"When those two guys don't have average games, we're going to struggle," coach Keith Smart said.

Evans said he was slowed by a sore left knee after bumping knees with Denver's Kosta Koufos early in the game.

"I was kind of favoring it after that, but I still tried to play through it," Evans said. "Still tried to find guys, get assists and things like that."