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Kings 112, Nuggets 126: Another great game from Bagley and another poor defensive effort

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Sacramento fell behind early and it stayed that way.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Well, this was the least entertaining game of the short season but one man made it better: Marvin Bagley.

We’ll get to him soon but the Sacramento Kings just struggled to get going and it stayed that way against a good Denver Nuggets team. The Kings did get over 100 points, so take that Denver’s defense!

First Quarter Observations

  • Buddy Hield takes a tough, contested three
  • Iman Shumpert to Willie Cauley-Stein for two
  • Fox pull-up three travels around the rim but fails to go in
  • Nemanja Bjelica goes by Millsap for two
  • Shumpert misses a three but answers right after
  • Fox with an interception and jukes everyone to draw a foul
  • Willie with a spin on Jokic for two
  • Marvin Bagley gets past Jokic for a layup and how about that previous move by Shumpert?
  • Bagley hits a three!
  • Jokic getting his way with rebounds
  • Justin Jackson gets a deep two
  • I don’t know why Yogi Ferrell took that pull-up three
  • 33-26 Nuggets lead after one

Second Quarter Observations

  • Nuggets lead by 13 in the early second
  • Jackson gets another shot and a WCS steal
  • Fox to Bagley for the and-1 dunk
  • A Jackson three
  • WCS taking it right to Millsap
  • Bjelica a three from Fox’s pass
  • Jackson another three?!
  • Hield a putback off WCS’s miss
  • Fox with an and-1
  • Bench in to close the half?
  • MASON BEATS THE BUZZER to make it 68-55 at the end of two

Third Quarter Observations

  • My stream suffered a crash but I was able to catch the end of the quarter
  • Bagley blocked Jokic and scored the other way
  • Giles definitely is lacking confidence
  • The defense has looked nowhere near good

Fourth Quarter Observations

  • Bagley for two
  • Giles really lacks confidence
  • Mason gets blocked big time by Beasley
  • Stream is still janky
  • Well, if the Kings played defense like the Nuggets this game would be much closer.
  • Ferrell knocks down a pull-up three and the lead is 20
  • Ben McLemore and Skal Labissiere come in
  • McLemore with a three to get the Kings to 100
  • BAGLEY ANOTHER BLOCK
  • And then he scores again!
  • Bagley lays it in again
  • A Zach Randolph sighting...in the graphic for the Memphis game
  • Game ends 112-126

Best Players

Marvin Bagley seems to get better after each game. Today was his best performance of the season (close with the Pelicans game) and it was in a tough game. Bagley scored 20 points on 9/11 shooting, including making his lone three-point attempt. He was also great on the boards, grabbing nine and I was anxiously waiting for him to get his tenth but it didn’t happen, sadly. The best part of his day was the FIVE blocks, including denying Nikola Jokic near the rim. A great game from Bagley in 32 minutes of action.

Justin Jackson makes it on this list after he almost made it last time out. Jackson scored 17 off the bench on 7/11 shooting with 3/5 of those coming from beyond the arc. He also played solid defense on certain possessions and looked better than he has all season. Hopefully, he can continue this level of play because he’s looking much, much better.

Frank Mason didn’t play versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, but played 27 minutes today. 14 points (6/10 shooting), five rebounds and seven assists was his stat line today. Not to forget a buzzer beating three.

Struggling Players

De’Aaron Fox was not his normal self, sadly. In 20 minutes of action, he scored six points on 2/8 shooting and had four assists. Foul trouble was also an issue. A bounce back performance tomorrow is needed.

Same goes for Buddy Hield, his back court partner. Hield looked off on all aspects of the game. In 23 minutes, he had five points and five rebounds on 2/7 shooting. Like Fox, a bounce back is necessary.

Harry Giles just has not looked like what we fans thought he would look like ever since the first game of the season. He looked better against the Thunder, but continued to struggle today. He was 0/6 from the field and 0/2 on free throws. Foul trouble was there again, as he had four in the 14 minutes he played.

Willie Money Watch

I think this is a fun feature to add to every recap. Willie wasn’t necessarily all bad if you look at his stats, but those rebounding numbers should’ve been higher. He did make some tough shots guarded by Jokic, so I’ll give him that. His numbers have gone down every game but he’s still playing fairly well.

Notable Stats

Making free throws changes this game. The Kings were 9/20 on free throws. This game is much closer if free throws are being converted.

The Kings were out-rebounded (again) 56-46. They just allow too many offensive rebounds and second-chance points and this problem may not go away for a while.

The Kings did attempt 31 threes today and made 13, but most weren’t good shot selections. Denver struggled from three but that’s not a surprise so far for them.

Iman Shumpert scored 12 points on 4/7 shooting in 19 minutes. I thought he played solid again.

The Game in One Sentence

This section was blocked by Bagley.

Next Game

The Kings return home to face the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:00 PM PST.