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Camby powers Nuggets past Kings down the stretch

DENVER (AP) -- Marcus Camby stepped up for the Denver Nuggets
when they needed him most.

Camby scored eight of his 20 points during Denver's 18-3 run in
the fourth quarter and added 11 rebounds and six blocked shots,
helping the Nuggets pull away for a 107-91 victory over the
road-weary Kings on Wednesday night.

"I think guys stepped up, guys played for each other and it's
always fun to play that way," Camby said.

Denver had trouble shaking Sacramento for the first three
quarters thanks to another poor night shooting from outside --
2-for-13 from 3-point range -- but made up for it by pushing the
tempo in the fourth quarter.

With the scored tied at 86, Camby hit a fadeaway jumper to start
Denver's run, then blocked a shot to set up Carmelo Anthony's
breakaway layup a few minutes later. The Nuggets kept pouring it on
from there, with Camby hitting a 20-foot jumper, an offensive
rebound to set up a jumper by Andre Miller and an alley-oop that
put Denver up 104-89 with three minutes left.

Anthony finished with 18 points and Miller added 13 assists and
10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who looked more like the team that
went 32-8 under coach George Karl than the one that lost three of
its first four games.

"It was a big win for us because tonight we played the way we
are capable of playing," said Denver's Earl Boykins, who had 15
points off the bench. "We didn't stand around and much and we had
a good pace to the game. We played great."

The Kings did, too, only it wasn't for four quarters.

Sacramento opened the season with three straight road games and
had to play in Denver's Mile High air a night after losing by 14 to
Detroit. The Kings stayed in it early thanks to nine 3-pointers --
one fewer than Denver's total for the season -- in the first three
quarters. They just didn't have anything left for the final
quarter.

Sacramento shot 9-for-25 in the fourth quarter and wasn't much
better on defense, letting the Nuggets run away with the win after
they opened the quarter 1-of-11.

Sacramento's Peja Stojakovic had 26 points and was 6-for-10 on
3-pointers, but struggled in the fourth quarter. Brad Miller added
16 points, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Mike Bibby each had 15 each
for the Kings, 1-4 for the second straight year.

"I thought we played them tough for three-and-a-half quarters
and then it got away from us the last five minutes," said
Abdur-Rahim, who also had seven rebounds and seven assists. "We
didn't make some shots, they made some and we turned the ball
over."

Sacramento stayed close in the first half thanks to six
3-pointers -- four by Stojakovic.

Denver used its bench and good interior shooting to match the
Kings.

The Nuggets shot 53 percent in the half and got a surprising
offensive performance from Eduardo Najera after power forward
Kenyon Martin was limited to 11 minutes because of foul trouble.

Najera had 11 points in the first half -- half his total from the
first four games -- including three on a nifty reverse and foul in
the second quarter. He also showed off his agility with a midcourt
spin to lose Bonzi Wells and set up DerMarr Johnson's layup.

Najera finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, helping
Denver's bench outscore Sacramento's 38-12.

"Najera was really good in the first half," Karl said.

So was Stojakovic.

He had the rhythm going on his quick-release jumper early, going
4-of-7 from long range in the first half, and added two more in the
third. Stojakovic would have had a third in the quarter, but his
banked-in 30-footer at the buzzer was waved off after initially
being ruled good.

Stojakovic just didn't have the same kind of luck in the fourth
quarter after Denver tightened up on him, finishing with four
points.

"We missed shots. They got on a run and there wasn't anything
else to it," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "I don't know why. I
don't know what happened."

Game notes
Camby had the highlight of the first half, soaring in over
Brad Miller for a rebound slam late in the second quarter, then
staring down the Kings center. ... Sacramento has lost four
straight in Denver.