For the second straight game in a row, the Nuggets failed to beat a team that was without a couple of their main players. Sacramento was without Demarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo on Saturday night, but they still managed to come back against the Nuggets and win 115-106.
The game was really a tale of two halves. The first half, in which the Nuggets won both quarters and played really well all around, and the second half where the Nuggets team couldn’t make the stops needed and basically fell apart in the fourth quarter. The first half saw strong play from different pairings of the big men Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic, and Joffrey Lauvergne. The big men played in pairings and played well in the first half, showing off their passing skills, ability to pull down rebounds, and their scoring touch.
The second half saw a Kings team that was able to take control of the game and come back from their deficit they ended the first half with. Rudy Gay and Seth Curry both played really well for the Kings and were the prime reason they won the game. The Nuggets just couldn’t stop them during their respective hot streaks and in the fourth quarter, the Kings managed to pull away from the Nuggets. The Kings outscored the Nuggets by thirteen in the fourth quarter with 31 total points against the Nuggets 18.
Gary Harris did his best to keep the Nuggets in it as he scored 19. Lauvergne and Emmanuel Mudiay also scored 15 apiece of their own, but aside from those three, no one stayed consistent enough with their scoring to give the Nuggets the win. This game was also the second straight poor shooting night from Will Barton. Barton scored only 2 points on 0-9 from the field. This shows how much Barton means to this team coming off the bench. If he were to come out and score even a little bit, this team could’ve kept their momentum and possibly won the game.
The loss isn’t the worse thing that could’ve happened. It does give the Nuggets a better chance at a higher pick and only adds character to a team that needs to learn to hate losing. The road forward doesn’t get any easier for the Nuggets who play on Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.