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Kings Lose To Nuggets, Take 30-27 Record Into All Star Break

Coming off of an impressive homestand in which they won five of six games, the Sacramento Kings found themselves victim to another team’s home court advantage on Wednesday night.

Denver Nuggets All-star center Nikola Jokic had a triple-double which included a game winning tip-in with 0.8 remaining as the Nuggets defeated the Kings 120-118 at the Pepsi Center. After trailing by 11 points at the half, the Nuggets used a spark from former Sacramento guard Isaiah Thomas in his first game of the season. Thomas scored all 8 of his points in the third quarter en route to giving Denver a two point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

With the win, the Denver Nuggets still have not lost a game at home when leading after three quarters.

Trailing by six with 1:10 left, Sacramento battled back to tie the score at 118-118 after a Buddy Hield layup. The Nuggets responded, as Jokic went into the post and tipped in his own missed shot to give Denver a two-point lead with 0.8 seconds left. Looking to top his heroics in Detroit from last month, Hield got off a game-winning shot attempt that hit back-iron, sending Sacramento into the break with a very respectable 30-27 record.

Hield led the way for Sacramento with 25 points, while newly acquired forward Harrison Barnes had 19 points and 11 rebounds. De’Aaron Fox had 15 points and 10 assists, his eleventh double-double of the season. Fox, a little more than halfway into his sophomore season, only had 3 double-doubles in his rookie season. Rookie forward Marvin Bagley III scored 11 points off of the bench, while Bogdan Bogdanovic added 15 points and 4 rebounds.

Sacramento could not get position in the paint against the Nuggets big-men, as they were out rebounded 53-44 on Wednesday. The second half was notably more rough for the Kings, as Denver had a 36-15 rebounding advantage over the final two quarters. Denver also punished Sacramento in the paint, outscoring the Kings 68-54.

With the loss, Sacramento fell out of the 8th spot in the Western Conference playoff hunt. Playing the second seeded Nuggets at Pepsi Center where they hold a 25-4 record, the Kings more than held their own in this matchup. With 25 games remaining, each with significant importance, Sacramento will need to take games like Wednesday in Denver and learn from them.

While this loss may sting, the Kings will have eight days to rest and get ready for the final stretch. Sitting just a game back of the eighth and final playoff spot, the real work is about to begin.

Coming Up

Four members of the Kings will be heading to Charlotte to partake in NBA All Star Weekend festivities. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III will be packing their bags for Charlotte as they will represent Sacramento this weekend at the Spectrum Center.

  • Bogdanovic, Fox, and Bagley will be playing in the Rising Stars game, a showdown of the top NBA rookies and sophomores. (Friday 2/15, 6pm PST)
  • Fox will be participating in the Skills Competition, and has been listed as the favorite to win the event. (Sat. 2/16, 5pm PST)
  • Buddy Hield will take his incredible shooting onto the big stage as he will face off against the Curry brothers in the 3 point Contest.  (Sat. 2/16, 5pm PST)

Catch the action on TNT all weekend!

As for the next time the full squad will take the floor, Sacramento will return to action next Thursday when they take on DeMarcus Cousins and the Golden State Warriors. Catch all the action right here on Sports 1140 KHTK.