How to stop a run? With a ratchet, as in ratchet up the defense. The Nuggets were forced to put away the speed drill and reach into the defensive tool box Tuesday night when the Sacramento Kings offered a lot more resistance than in previous games.

Denver forced 18 turnovers and clamped down over the final five minutes to take a 120-113 victory. It was the Nuggets' sixth consecutive win, three of those on the road, and seventh out of their last eight.

Ty Lawson led the Nuggets scoring with 24 points and Danilo Gallinari had 23 as the team improved to 40-22. The Kings dropped to 21-41.

Marcus Thornton came off the bench for the Kings to score a game-high 32 points and keep the game from getting out of hand. Thornton is averaging just shy of 24 points per game over his last six.

The Nuggets won despite playing far from their best game on offense.

"I don't think we were crisp on execution offensively and weren't passing it well and making good decisions," Nuggets coach George Karl said.

The Kings had trouble defending the Nuggets' pick-and-roll the last two meetings but turned in a much better effort Tuesday. They also held the Nuggets' vaunted fast break in check through the first half and much of the second. The previous time the teams met, the Nuggets had 33 fast-break points. Denver had just 22 on Tuesday.

"The Kings are playing a lot better the last couple of weeks," Karl said. "They're passing the ball and playing unselfish basketball."