The Sacramento Kings aren’t kidding this year, as they posted their third win in four games, this time against the Denver Nuggets, 125-115.
Sacramento’s strong push in the final 12 minutes saw them erasing a deficit and beating the struggling Nuggets, who didn’t begin this season as expected. Tyrese Haliburton was excellent in the crucial moments,
The young rookie had 8 points and five dimes in the final period, which saw the hosts outscoring the Nuggets 29-15. He ended the night with 13 points, six assists, and three steals.
Sacramento had a lead going to the halftime break, 74-62, but the guests from Denver turned the result upside down during the third quarter, pouring 38 points while allowing 22. It seemed that Michael Malone’s boys could win this matchup, but they ran out of gas in the final moments. The Kings had a 22-3 series, which saw them pulling away to a 12-point lead, 120-108.
De’Aaron Fox scored 24 points for the hosts, had nine assists and two steals. Richaun Holmes added 20 with five boards, but had 10-for-13 shooting from the field, while another big man, Marvin Bagley, scored 18 buckets. Harrison Barnes ended the night with 13 points but 8 assists and six rebounds, and Buddy Hield contributed with 12 and 8 rebounds.
Nikola Jokic continued his triple-double rampage, with 26 points, 12 assists, and 11 boards, but also had 10 turnovers, more than half from Denver’s 19. Michael Porter Jr. had a game-high 30 with 10 rebounds while shooting 12-for-18.
Monte Morris replaced injured Jamal Murray very well, scoring 24 points in 37 minutes, 10-for-15 from the floor.
Kings rook Tyrese Haliburton from near the logo 💦 pic.twitter.com/bSGAKJHpyX
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 30, 2020
The problematic thing for the guests is that they didn’t have a player off the bench capable of bringing in some energy. This season hasn’t started well for them at all, as the Western Conference runners-up have just one win in four games.
They will host the Phoenix Suns on Friday and then head for Minneapolis to face the Timberwolves on Sunday night.
Opposite Denver, the Kings are 3-1 at the moment, looking excellent. This franchise had a lot of troubles during the past several years, and are currently on the longest playoff drought in the NBA – since 2006.
They have back to back games in Houston against the Rockets on Thursday and Saturday. This should be a reality check for Sacramento, and if they manage to grab at least one win from Toyota Center, it will be a signal that this team is a legit playoff contender.