It feels like just the other day that the Kings were playing the Nuggets on the second night of a back to back following a tough overtime loss. That’s because it hasn’t even been a week since the Kings last played Denver. Tonight marks the third time in 11 games that the Kings and Nuggets have faced off. The Nuggets remain the only team the Kings have managed to beat since the DeMarcus Cousins trade, but Denver’s also gone from virtually tied with the Kings for the 8th seed in the West to now being five games ahead.
Fatigue will be a little bit of an issue for the Kings tonight as they played another Overtime game yesterday. Willie Cauley-Stein logged a whopping 42 minutes and Buddy Hield got nearly 37 in his first start as a King. The Nuggets are on the second night of a back to back as well, but they’re coming off a fairly dominating win against the Boston Celtics.
The last time these two teams faced each other, the Nuggets were without Nikola Jokic and Kenneth Faried, and Emmanuel Mudiay was a healthy scratch. The Nuggets took advantage of their size on the wing and Wilson Chandler had himself a game, scoring a career-high 36 points to go with 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Danilo Gallinari also chipped in 18 points. The Nuggets also hit 13 threes to just 6 for Sacramento.
It was nice to see Buddy Hield get his first start for the Kings yesterday, and he responded with an 18 point first half outburst. Unfortunately, Washington tightened up the screws in the second half and he didn’t score the entire rest of the game. I’d like to see Buddy continue to start for the rest of the season though, as he’s already proving that he’s one of the best scorers and shooters on this team, even as a rookie.
The Kings have come close to winning several times during this current 7 game losing streak, but they keep finding creative ways to lose. We’ll see if that changes tonight or if the tank continues to roll on.
Tip-off’s at 7:30 p.m. Pacific. Go Kings.