March 11, 2018, 7:21 pm
The Kings came into Denver hoping to start their roadtrip on a positive note, but the team had no answer for the Nuggets’ offense in a 130-104 loss.
Denver was able to take advantage of the Kings early on, scoring 32 points in the first quarter, but the biggest problem for the Kings was their inability to hit open shots. Sacramento was able to finish with 25 points in the first, but the team could have had much more with better shooting.
One thing that kept the Kings competitive early on was the play of Buddy Hield, who finished the first half with nine points off the bench. The starting five wasn’t able to generate much offense to start the game, so Hield’s production really kept the team competitive.
The second quarter was more of the same for the Kings, who allowed the Nuggets to open up a 66-49 lead before halftime. The Kings did a good job of taking care of the ball with just one turnover in the first half, but their inability to stop the Nuggets in transition ultimately allowed Denver to take control of the game.
A strong third quarter would have allowed the Kings to make the game competitive, but the wheels really fell off for Sacramento on both ends of the floor as Denver coasted to a 101-68 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Kings had no answer for Jokic after halftime and he ended up putting the finishing touches on a triple-double in just three quarters.
Sacramento was able to play better in the final quarter, but the win was never in jeopardy for the Nuggets. The Kings won’t have much time to evaluate their play against in Denver with a tough game coming up tomorrow night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- – Bogdan Bogdanovic has struggled with his shot in the team’s last few games and tonight was no exception. The team is much more dynamic offensively when Bogdanovic is locked in, so their struggles in this game aren’t much of a surprise. Bogdanovic can still make big contributions as a passer, but the Kings will be much better off if he can regain his consistency as a scorer.
- – Bruno Caboclo had his best game as a King, finishing with five points, two assists and three rebounds in 13 minutes of play. He may never be an impact player offensively, but his length and athleticism could allow him to be an above average defender. It’s still unclear whether or not the team will be interested in bringing him back next season, but performances like this will certainly help his case.
- – There wasn’t much to be excited about in Sunday night’s loss, but the team did do a nice job taking care of the ball. The Kings finished the game with 25 assists and just three turnovers and will generally see a much better result when they’re able to move the ball that well.
- – Sacramento has been able to convert their chances from behind the three-point line well this season, but tonight may have been their worst performance from behind the arc this season. The team converted just six of their 31 attempts against the Nuggets, and while the aggressiveness is a welcome sight the team will need to do better than that to stay competitive.
- – Willie Cauley-Stein returned after missing time with a back injury, and while he struggled to make a positive impact overall he did hit a fairly impressive 3-pointer in transition. With just three made threes in his career he still has a long way to go before he’s considered a threat from behind the arc, but his improvement this season as a jump-shooter has been significant.