With the playoffs on the cusp of being an afterthought for both sides, the Nuggets host the Sacramento Kings in Denver on Sunday with each team trying to cultivate a positive vibe after atrocious runs of late. Denver has been reeling since late January, losing eight of 11 and with their last two wins coming against lowly Milwaukee. "I told our team I wish paychecks were predicated on night-to-night performance," coach Brian Shaw told the Denver Post after a 28-point drubbing in Chicago Friday.Sacramento managed to get by Boston on Saturday night for its second win in three games. The Kings are just 4-11 in their last 15 and are in a three-way tie for last place in the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz. On the positive side, Sacramento is fully healthy, with DeMarcus Cousins returning to the lineup against the Celtics, finishing with 13 points in 34 minutes after sitting out Wednesday's loss to Golden State with a hip problem.TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN (Sacramento), Altitude (Denver)ABOUT THE KINGS (19-36): Guard Jason Terry, who was acquired from Brooklyn on Thursday, along with forward Reggie Evans in exchange for guard Marcus Thornton, will spend the rest of the season rehabbing his left knee after surgery this past off-season. Kings general manager Pat D'Alessandro explained the decision to the Sacramento Bee, noting, "Affording Jason time to rehab during the balance of this season allows him to return at full strength next year while giving our younger players (experience)." Terry, who has averaged 4.5 points in 35 games this season after 14 straight seasons averaging 10 points or more, is appreciative of his new club, telling reporters, "It's clear that the organization cares about its players and has their best interest at heart."ABOUT THE NUGGETS (25-29): Shaw's comments after the loss to Chicago had the feel of long-brewing frustration but to the first-year coach's credit, he continues to count himself and his staff as one of many carrying the responsibility of a season gone wrong. "As a coach and coaching staff, it's our job to try to find five players that want to go out and play and want to have some pride," he said. "(From now on) I'm going to play the guys who want to put forth the effort and want to play like professionals and go out and earn their paychecks," Shaw added.BUZZER BEATERS 1. Denver has beaten Sacramento in 10 of the last 11 meetings. 2. Kings F Rudy Gay is averaging 18 points, 7.8 rebounds and three assists in his last four games.3. Nuggets PG Ty Lawson (hip) has missed five straight games and Shaw has stated recently that there is no timetable for his return.PREDICTION: Nuggets 108, Kings 100
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