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Kings vs. Nuggets Preview: Change the altitude, change the attitude

Sacramento looks for its second win of the new year in the Mile High City.

Sacramento Kings v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings will face the Denver Nuggets on Friday evening in what will be their first meeting of the season.

Sacramento begins its two-game road trip in the Mile High City, where they will meet the league’s reigning MVP in Nikola Jokic on the opposition’s altitude.

Coming off of winnable loss on Wednesday night, Sacramento will look to the tandem of De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton to continue their offensive dominance - with hope to convert on the other end of the floor from their surrounding cast. The budding backcourt combined for 54 of the Kings’ 102 points vs. the Atlanta Hawks, and finally seem to be gelling at the same time to the Kingdom’s delight.

The Kings remain without starters Richaun Holmes and Chimezie Metu, who have not cleared the league’s Health and Safety Protocols. As with the rest of the league, Sacramento will perform short-handed in hopes to get back into the win column.

Denver remains without several of its stars, including Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray. Despite their absence, the Joker has managed to carve out another extremely productive season, averaging 25.7 points, 14.2 rebounds and 7 assists.

The mismatch in the paint will prove to be a tough handle for Sacramento, as Jokic holds the size advantage by a mile high in this contest.

Tonight’s contest will be a litmus test for Sacramento as they fare against a sleeping Western Conference giant who are also missing players.

How to Watch/Listen: NBC Sports California, Sports 1140 KHTK

Opposing Perspective: Denver Stiffs

Spread: Nuggets -8

Moneyline: Kings +280, Nuggets -365

SAC injuries/absences: Richaun Holmes - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Chimezie Metu - Out (Health and Safety Protocols), Terence Davis - Questionable (Ankle)

DEN injuries/absences: Aaron Gordon - Probable (Non-Covid Illness), Bones Hyland - Probable - (Non-Covid Illness), Jeff Green - Questionable (Health and Safety Protocols), Zeke Nnaji - Questionable (Health and Safety Protocols), Vlatko Cancar - Out (Foot), P.J. Dozier - Out (ACL), Markus Howard - Out (Knee), Jamal Murray - Out (Knee), Michael Porter Jr. - Out (Back)