• Offensive rebounds and second chance points were the deciding factor for the Nuggets 96-79 win over the Kings.

    Dave Joerger looked all the way down his bench for an answer to the lack of energy, but found none as the altitude was too much for the jet lagged Kings who dropped their second game of the season.

    Frank Mason, Malachi Richardson and Jakarr Sampson got some minutes as Joerger went deep into his bench, but it was too little, too late.

    Mason and Sampson both scored their first buckets of the year; Mason’s on a basket in the paint and Sampson on an emphatic put back dunk.

    Mason finished the game with seven points in 17 minutes of action, but shot just 2-of-9.

    The Kings were out-rebounded, out-hustled and possibly out-lucked as some bounces didn’t go for Sacramento the way they did for Denver.

    De’Aaron Fox had himself another solid outing as he finished with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Fox was able to a provide spark for the Kings each time he entered the game, but still finished with a +/- of minus-six. Fox was one of only three Kings players to finish in double digits. The others being Skal Labissiere with 13 points and Zach Randolph with 11.

    Aside from Randolph, no other starter for the Kings had more than five points as the starting unit shot a combined 10-of-38.

    Additionally, Labissiere was the only King to finish with a positive +/- of plus-five.

    Buddy Hield went just 1-of-10 for the Kings, but it wasn’t just Hield that struggled, as the Kings went through multiple droughts that cost them.

    The Kings shot just 37 percent from the field and had just 15 assists, along with 14 turnovers.

    A deciding factor in the contest was the battle in the paint. The Nuggets out-rebounded the Kings 58-to-39 and scored 52 points in the paint, as opposed to 36 for Sacramento.

    The Nuggets finished with just six more offensive rebounds than the Kings, but with each second chance, the Kings’ hopes became a little more bleak.

    While the Nuggets did have three more turnovers than the Kings, Sacramento wasn’t able to make them pay as they were outscored in points off turnovers 19-to-13.

    The Kings never found a rhythm and after holding the lead to end the first quarter, the Kings were outscored 79-to-61 for the remainder of the game.

    Joerger attempted to stifle the Nuggets with different lineups, even running with Fox, Mason and George Hill all on the floor at the same time at one point, but the Nuggets kept them at bay for all of the second half.

    Sacramento wraps up their three-game road trip in Phoenix against the Suns on Monday before heading home for a Thursday match-up against DeMarcus Cousins and the Pelicans.

    NOTABLE PERFORMANCES:

    De’Aaron Fox – 18 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST (8-of-13 FG).

    Skal Labissiere – 13 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST (6-of-12 FG).

    Zach Randolph – 11 PTS, 9 REB (5-of-13 FG).

Fantasy News

  • Donovan Mitchell - G - Utah Jazz

    Donovan Mitchell went 14-for-35 from the field to finish Friday's 147-148 double-overtime loss to the Thunder with 38 points.

    Mitchell added four boards, five dimes, four 3s and one steal to his line for the night. His inefficient scoring lately has dragged his value outside of the top-150 in 9-cat over the last couple of weeks, but knowing Mitchell, he should be able to heat up sooner than later.

  • Rudy Gobert - C - Utah Jazz

    Rudy Gobert stepped up late for the Jazz on Friday and posted 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting with 16 rebounds, two assists, one steal and three blocks in a loss to the Thunder.

    Gobert is money when you're looking for those key big-man stats. He's also going to be a force come the fantasy playoffs given the Jazz's stacked schedule. Derrick Favors is a low-end option as well. He posted 24 points (10-of-11 shooting), 11 rebounds, two assists and three blocks tonight.

  • Jae Crowder - F - Utah Jazz

    Jae Crowder knocked down four 3s to finish Friday's loss to the Thunder with 20 points (6-of-14 shooting), eight rebounds, three dimes and one block.

    He was the only Jazz reserve to crack double-digit scoring. Crowder's been a solid source of threes lately, averaging 2.8 triples over his last five games.

  • Dennis Schroder - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Dennis Schroder played 35 minutes on Friday after missing the Thunder's last two games to welcome the birth of his child but struggled with his shot as he went 3-of-16 from the field to finish with nine points, two rebounds, seven dimes and one steal.

    Schroder is a .426 shooter from the field on the season, so we're not too worried. We're chalking this ugly shooting night to some rust. He should bounce back closer to top-120 value as he finds his shot.

  • Russell Westbrook - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Russell Westbrook was in the groove in Friday's 148-147 double-overtime win over the Jazz on Friday, dropping 43 points (15-of-29 shooting), 15 boards, eight assists, six triples, one block and two steals before fouling out in 43 minutes.

    Westbrook has been holding steady as a top-20 play over the last couple of weeks in 9-cat. This is the second time he's scored 40-plus points in his last five games and is looking to finish strong as we head down the stretch this season.

  • Jerami Grant - F - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Jerami Grant (sprained right ankle) returned from a two-game absence on Friday and put up a solid performance with 18 points (6-of-10 shooting), four rebounds, one assist, three treys, two steals and three blocks.

    Grant looked good as he logged 41 minutes in this double-overtime barn burner. Feel free to slot him into your active lineups and enjoy his late middle-round value moving forward.

  • Paul George - F - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Paul George shook Joe Ingles to sink the game-winning floater in Friday's 2OT win over the Jazz and ended the night with 45 points (17-of-31 shooting), nine rebounds, seven dimes, five triples and a steal.

    PG13 makes yet another case to be included in the MVP discussion with this amazing performance. Owners who trusted him late in the first or early in the second rounds of drafts are now cashing in his top-5 fantasy value all the way to the bank (and hopefullly a fantasy trophy).

  • Emmanuel Mudiay - G - New York Knicks

    Emmanuel Mudiay (strained left shoulder) returned from a 12-game absence on Friday and showed no signs of rust as he delivered 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting and a full line.

    The .375 shooting clip from the field was nasty but that's par for the course with Mudiay. It was a pleasant surprise to see him fill up the box score as he added six rebounds, one assist, two 3-pointers, three steals and a block to his line for the night. The Knicks' rotations have been a hot mess all season, so don't bank on Mudiay to deliver this kind of spread in the next one.

  • Jonathan Isaac - F - Orlando Magic

    Jonathan Isaac had a game to forget in Friday's loss to the Bulls, scoring only four points (on 1-of-6 from the field) to go with a trey, three rebounds and two steals.

    The money counters salvaged a bad night and despite this dud, Isaac has still been a top-35 play in 9-cat over his last five games. He played 31 minutes in this one so hopefully he can get back on track his next time out.

  • Dorian Finney-Smith - F - Dallas Mavericks

    Dorian Finney-Smith chipped in 13 points (4-of-9 shooting), nine rebounds, one assist and two steals in Friday's 104-114 loss to the Nuggets.

    DFS has been a top-140 play over the last couple of weeks and is a viable end-of-bench guy in standard leagues for the rest of the season. He's more of a plodder, albeit a reliable one, so don't expect too many explosive games on the horizon.