Kings blown out in lopsided loss to Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets looked every bit the part of a team fighting to get into the playoffs Sunday afternoon at the Pepsi Center and the Sacramento Kings had no response. Denver jumped out to a big halftime lead and put the Kings away early for a 130-104 victory.
Nikola Jokic put on a show as a point-center, feeding guards Gary Harris and Jamal Murray with precision passes to help the Nuggets improve to 37-30.
Kosta Koufos dropped in a double-double for Sacramento and Buddy Hield chipped in 18 points and five rebounds as the Kings fell to 10-24 on road this season.
STANDOUT PERFORMER I
The Joker is good. Jokic stuffed the stat sheet against Sacramento, notching his seventh triple-double of the season. The 6-foot-10 Serbian center went for 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in just 17 minutes as Denver pulled away early from the Kings. His ability to catch and finish around the rim is special.
STANDOUT PERFORMER II
Harris and Murray lit the Kings up. The young Nuggets backcourt combined to score 41 points on 17-for-32 shooting, including four of the Denver’s 15 total makes from behind the arc.
STANDOUT PERFORMER III
Koufos put up big numbers for the second straight game. After posting up an 18-point, 13-rebound double-double on Friday, the 29-year-old center went for 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting and chipped in 10 rebounds in 19 minutes of play.
Denver put on the jets to end the first half and ran away from the Kings. The Nuggets led by 17 going to the intermission and then caught fire from long range in the third to blow Sacramento out.
De’Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein both returned to action after missing time with lower back strains. Skal Labissiere missed the game with a bruised left hip that he suffered Friday against the Magic. Iman Shumpert continues to miss games due to plantar fasciitis and Harry Giles (knee rehab) is out for the season.
The Kings travel to Oklahoma City following the game to play the Thunder on the second night of a back-to-back. They return home Wednesday to host the Miami Heat, but then hit the road for another set of back-to-backs starting Friday in Oakland.