Despite winning off the court, the Kings weren't able to find a way to win on it tonight. The Nuggets withstood Sacramento's late rallies in order to keep their now 15 game win streak alive.
Sacramento dug themselves an early hole as the Nuggets came out running and gunning, building up a double-digit lead after the first quarter and keeping it by halftime.
The momentum shifted in the third quarter however, as DeMarcus Cousins and John Salmons brought the Kings all the way back and then some, briefly regaining the lead. The fourth quarter was a back and forth battle, but Sacramento committed too many mistakes throughout that eventually added up into a loss.
DeMarcus Cousins had one of his biggest games of the year with 24 points on 10-16 from the field, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and a career-high tying 5 blocks. He also threw down what was probably the dunk of the year for the Kings:
John Salmons, who had been slumping lately, found his groove again and scored 18 points on 7-12 from the field with four triples to boot. Unfortunately for Cousins and Salmons, they didn't have much help from their teammates. Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton were the only other Kings in double digits with 10 apiece, but both players combined for a terrible 7-25 from the field and just 2-13 from three. Thomas did have 9 assists however.
Tyreke Evans played just 23 minutes and scored just 4 points and starting forward Jason Thompson made just 3 of his 11 attempts for 6 points.
Patrick Patterson continues to get too few offensive touches, but made the most of what he did get, shooting 3-4 for 7 points. Travis Outlaw made a rare on-court appearance in the first half and actually played pretty well with 8 points on 3-6 shooting.
Denver was without the dynamic Ty Lawson tonight but ended up not missing him. The thing that makes Denver such a dangerous team is how balanced they are across the board, with no one guy that you can focus on. Each of their starters finished in double digits, led by Danilo Gallinari's 19 points and 8 rebounds. Kenneth Faried had 17 ponits and 9 rebounds and Kosta Koufos added 13 and 9. Andre Iguodala scored 15 points to go with 8 assists and 5 rebounds.
Sacramento ended up making two more field goals than the Nuggets and four more triples, but had a big deficit at the line. Denver made 23 of 32 free throw attempts, not a great percentage, but much better than Sacramento's 9 of 17. The normally good FT shooter DeMarcus Cousins was just 4 for 8 from the line.
Sacramento now heads back home to play Philadelphia for Here We Buy Night 2 tomorrow. There is still plenty of time to get tickets if you haven't yet. I highly encourage you to do so, especially after today's term sheet news.
For the opponent's perspective, visit Denver Stiffs.