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Kings vs. Nuggets: Hoping for some Deja Vu

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings are riding higher than they have been in a long, long time.  Winners of three straight to start the season, against tough opposition no less, has them carrying their heads high and ready for any challenge.  While the Kings did beat the Nuggets in Denver on Monday, they'll have to face them again tonight in Sacramento.  The Nuggets will be looking for revenge and trying to avoid dropping their third in a row so the Kings will have to remain vigilant and play well to keep their winning streak going. Tonight's action tips off at 7:00 pm tonight on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. The Kings weren't exactly at their best against the Nuggets on Monday even though they did win.  They got off to a very rough start offensively and even though they picked it up later, they still finished at just 42% from the field.  Fatigue was probably an issue as the Kings had played the night before but with a day off in between these games they should be rested enough now.  Malone did a good job of managing his team's minutes in that game, with Darren Collison leading the way with just 29 minutes.  DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay only played 25 and 23 minutes respectively.  We'll see a lot more of the starters tonight.

2. The biggest thing the Kings did right on Monday was getting to the line, with a whopping 47 attempts.  DeMarcus Cousins was a big part of that, getting the Nuggets big men into quick and constant foul trouble.  The Kings are currently first in the league in Free Throw Attempts and it's been the bread and butter of their otherwise bad offense.  Sacramento needs to continue living at the line.

3. Sacramento's bench really stepped up on Monday, but the Shooting Guards continued to have issues.  Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskas are shooting just 25% combined on the season.  Nik barely even got to play on Monday considering he picked up 3 fouls (2 of which probably shouldn't have been called) in just 1:33 of playing time.  Malone mentioned on Grant Napear's show yesterday afternoon that he wanted to find a way to get Ben and Nik more involved in the offense, so we'll see if that changes tonight.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Rudy Gay vs. Wilson Chandler

Wilson Chandler got the start for the Nuggets on Monday as Danilo Gallinari is still adjusting to NBA action after missing all of last year with a knee injury.  While Chandler didn't start off well offensively, he did a good job of forcing Rudy Gay into tough shots.  He finally found his offense in the fourth quarter and became one of Denver's few reliable weapons.  The Nuggets will likely start Chandler again and try to see if they can take advantage of the fact that he was able to get what he wanted towards the end of the game.  Sacramento will also have to do a better job of getting the ball to Rudy in his spots.

PREGAME LIMERICK

There once was a man named Kevin,
he's been a Kings fan since he was 7.
he's going nuts,
'cause Kings are kicking butts,
and hoping this win streak goes to 11.

PREDICTION

Kings 99, Nuggets 81 after Kenneth Faried defects to Sacramento at half time to join his Team USA teammates.