The Sacramento Kings won their first game in 2018 as they defeated the Denver Nuggets by a score of 106-98.
The Sacramento Kings were in a hole. After shocking the Cleveland Cavaliers last week, the purple and white then fell three straight games to three inferior opponents. But with three days of rest, the Kings were able to energize themselves for their match tonight against the Denver Nuggets.
Tonight the Kings went young in their starting lineup as Dave Joerger opted to go with De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Malachi Richardson, Skal Labissiere, and Willie Cauley-Stein.
To start the game, the Kings were hot and energetic. The team was making their shots, showing lots of energy, and were playing solid defense in the beginning of the first quarter.
But as the period went along, the Kings gradually declined as the Nuggets found momentum due to their three-point shooting. With that being said, however, Sacramento still found themselves on top 29-27 to end the first.
The second quarter was a different story. Both teams played very sloppy basketball which resulted in a lot of turnovers and little points being scored. Fortunately for Sacramento, they were able to outscore the Nuggets 17-14 for the period which resulted in a 46-41 Kings’ lead at halftime.
As the third period went along, the theme went back to offense. Both teams found their scoring rhythm which led to 63 total points being scored for the quarter. The Kings remained on top 79-71.
In the fourth quarter, the Nuggets threatened to comeback as they trailed as little as three points during the period. But due to a team effort, the Kings were able to hold on to the lead and achieve their first win in the new year.
It is hard to identify just a couple of names for tonight’s game. The Kings really played well collectively as seven players were able to score in double-digits.
However, if I did have to choose three names, they would be Willie Cauley-Stein, De’Aaron Fox, and Vince Carter. In my opinion, all three showed immense energy on the court and I thought the trio did a good job in fulfilling their roles for tonight.
Cauley-Stein finished the game with 17 points, four rebounds, and seven steals. Fox was able to run the offense well as he scored 18 points and distributed seven assists. And Carter was awesome as he made clutch plays down the stretch. The 19-year veteran ended the night with 12 points and eight rebounds.
It has been a while, but the Kings showed up tonight. They came into the game showing great effort on both ends of the court, and maybe more importantly, everyone who got playing time contributed in a positive manner. It also helps when the Nuggets turn the ball over a whopping 25 times which caused the Kings to get easy scores to pile on the momentum.
I would say tonight’s win could be the start of something special, but the Kings have shown this season that inconsistency is their form of consistency. Unless they are able to perform solid basketball in a good string of games is when the believing can start, in my opinion.
The next time the Kings will hit the hardwood will be Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs.