Without DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, the Kings were unable to deliver a win for George Karl in his return to Denver, falling 122-111 to the Nuggets Sunday at the Pepsi Center.
Kenneth Faried went 12-for-14 shooting from the floor and 6-for-8 from the free throw line en route to 30 points and 7 rebounds against a depleted Sacramento frontcourt also missing Reggie Evans, who also was out due to a right thumb sprain. Faried went work early pouring in 19 points in the first quarter.
Wilson Chandler added 21 points while Randy Foye and Danilo Gallinari added 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Ty Lawson also delivered a double-double of 10 points and 11 assists for the Nuggets.
Omri Casspi led Sacramento with 22 points, while Ben McLemore (18), Ray McCallum (14), Derrick Williams (13) were also in double figures in the loss. McLemore added a career-high seven assists while Casspi tied a career-high with seven assists.
Sacramento went on an 11-0 run in the second quarter to take a 57-54 lead with 1:24 to go in the second quarter on a Casspi 3-pointer.
However, the Kings trailed 60-59 at the half and Denver outscored the Kings 62-52 over the remaining 24-minutes to secure the victory.
Sacramento was plagued by 20 turnovers which the Nuggets converted into 22 points and the Kings were outscored in the paint to the tune of 68-56 and outrebounded by Denver 43-32.
Sunday was the third consecutive game without Cousins and Gay, who have been shut down for the season due to a concussion and a sore right foot, respectively.
The Kings are now 4-17 without Cousins and 2-10 without Gay and 0-3 without the tandem in the lineup this season.
The Kings (27-53) have lost three straight, eight of nine and fall to 10-30 on the road. Sacramento also failed to win the season series against the Nuggets (30-50), who earned a 2-2 split with the win.
Sacramento is now 9-19 under George Karl, and with the Lakers looming Monday at Sleep Train Arena, are 15-20 in back-to-back games and 9-9 in the first game of back-to-back scenarios.
For Karl it was an unsuccessful return to Denver, where he lead the Nuggets to nine playoff appearances but was jettisoned after winning the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2012-13.
Kenneth Faried went for 30 points and seven rebounds exploiting a Cousins-less Kings squad.
The Nuggets extended a 60-59 halftime lead by outscoring the Kings 62-52 in the second half to secure the win.
Kings -- C DeMarcus Cousins (sore right foot), F Rudy Gay (concussion), G Darren Collison (core muscle injury) and F Eric Moreland (left shoulder labral tear) were out.
G Nik Stauskas (mid back strain) was probable and played while F Reggie Evans (right thumb sprain) was doubtful and did not play.
Nuggets -- G Erick Green (left shoulder strain) is questionable while, F Darrell Arthur (right soleus strain) and G Jameer Nelson (right hip flexor strain) were out.
The Kings wrap up the season against the Lakers in home-and-home fashion, Monday at Sleep Train Arena and then a Wednesday rematch at Staples Center.