Second Half Costs The Sacramento Kings Against Nuggets


The Sacramento Kings dropped their second straight game tonight against the Denver Nuggets by a score of 114-98.

For tonight’s game, Dave Joerger opted for the lineup of De’Aaron Fox, George Hill, Garrett Temple, Skal Labissiere, and Zach Randolph to start the game. The Kings began the match falling behind, but due to the bench play of Kosta Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein, the Kings were able to keep the game tied at 22 after one.

In the second quarter, the Kings’ defense came alive as the team overall was active and physical against the Nuggets’ offense which resulted in 11 turnovers in the half for Denver. The Kings’ offense struggled, however, as the team could not make their open shots but their defense kept them tied at 47 at halftime.

The third quarter was when Sacramento started to lose momentum. The Nuggets took better care of the basketball and were dominating the boards and making their perimeter shots, helping them get the 11-point lead ending the third period. Denver’s momentum carried them into the fourth quarter, and although the Kings’ offense started to heat up, the Nuggets continued to increase their lead earning them the victory.

Key Takeaways

  • Kosta Koufos had himself a nice game as he was productive on both ends of the court. He finished the game with 16 points and four rebounds while shooting 7-9 from the field. Koufos was also good tonight as a defender as he gave Denver’s interior players fits and recorded three blocks.
  • George Hill continues to impress since being moved to the two-guard spot. For the night, he finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 steals.
  • The Kings struggled tonight in grabbing the boards as the Nuggets outrebounded them by a score of 49-34. The Kings also were outplayed in the offensive boards category as they only grabbed five compared to Denver’s 14.
  • As the Nuggets took better care of the basketball, their overall play improved. In the first half, Denver turned the ball over 11 times. In the second half, the part of the game where Denver gained their rhythm, they only gave the ball up twice.
  • The Kings’ defense was solid in the first half, but declined as the game went on as they failed to guard the perimter. As a result, the Nuggets shot 15-32 from beyond the arc which factored big time into their 67-point second half.
  • The Kings’ defense continues to improve since their horrid performance in Atlanta last week. In my opinion, a reason for it is because the team is showing more effort and are looking more sound in their defensive rotations. So far this season, the Kings really have not developed an identity, but gritty defense may be their label going forward as it has stood out the most from their play in recent games.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Kings just could not keep up with the Nuggets once the second half was in session as Denver outplayed the Kings in almost every aspect of the game. Next time the Kings will hit the hardwood will be against the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night.