The Kings travel to Denver to face the up and coming Denver Nuggets Tuesday night, but they have major injury issues hanging over their heads. Ty Lawson joined Rudy Gay and Arron Afflalo on the injury list after sustaining a maxillary sinus fracture in the Kings loss to Memphis on Saturday. All three veterans made the trip, but are listed as questionable.
Darren Collison stepped up his game against the Grizzlies, scoring 16 points on 8-for-16 shooting in 29 minutes of action. The Kings starting point guard has struggled of late, but he aggressively attacked the stout Memphis defense, which opened up plenty for others.
Denver hung tough with the Golden State Warriors on Monday night before falling 127-119 to one of the game’s best squads. They had to fly home after the game to face a Sacramento team that hasn’t played since Saturday. The Kings will face a similar scenario on Wednesday evening when they return home to take on an injury ravaged Miami Heat team on the second night of a back-to-back.
Nuggets by 3
MATCHUP TO WATCH
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Nikola Jokic -- Cousins draws another up and coming big when the Kings travel to Denver. Since regaining his starting job eight games ago, Jokic is filling up the stat sheet, averaging 19.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 6.3 assists. Cousins continues to dominate, averaging 29 points and 10.2 rebounds through Sacramento’s first 33 games.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 14-19, third place in Pacific
Nuggets: 14-20, third place in Northwest
Kings: SF Rudy Gay (hip flexor) is out; SG Arron Afflalo (elbow strain) and PG Ty Lawson (facial fracture) are probable
Nuggets: F Darrell Arthur (knee) questionable.
Sacramento swept the season series 3-0 last year, but his is the first of four matchups between these two teams during the 2016-17 campaign. The all-time series between these two teams is all tied up at 86-86 and the Kings hold a slight 63-61 lead during the Sacramento-era.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to you just having some type of pride, dignity in stopping your man. That’s what it comes down to. Forget a scheme, forget a rotation - one-on-one I’m going to make sure I stop my man. I’m not going to let this guy drive past me or into get in the lane and create something for somebody else.” - DeMarcus Cousins following the Kings loss to Memphis on New Year’s Eve