NBA Basketball

118
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Sacramento 41 28 22 27 118
Denver 30 28 35 27 120
120
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CTNaN:� , February 13, 2019
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 17,938

Barnes, Kings visit Denver with All-Star break looming

According to STATS
According to STATS

Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets

  1. The Kings have won five of their last six games, including a 117-104 win over the Suns in their most recent game. Sacramento's 30 wins this season are the most that the team has had prior to the All-Star break since winning 33 in the 2004-05 season.
  2. The Nuggets ended a three-game losing streak with a 103-87 victory over the Heat on Monday. With 38 victories already, Denver has surpassed the 2008-09 team (36) for most wins in franchise history prior to the All-Star break.
  3. Marvin Bagley III scored a career-high 32 points off the bench in the team's win over Phoenix on Sunday. In that game, Bagley became the first rookie to make at least 10 field goals and 10 free throws off the bench since Yao Ming on November 21, 2002.
  4. Malik Beasley is shooting 58.3 percent from two-point range and 43.7 percent from three-point range this season. He and Stephen Curry are the only two players this season shooting at least 55.0 percent on two-point shots and 40.0 percent on three-pointers (min. 200 three-point attempts).
  5. Through 55 games this season, Nikola Jokic has recorded 1122 points, 577 rebounds and 422 assists. Jokic joins Russell Westbrook (2016-17 & 2017-18) and Larry Bird (1989-90) as the only players in the past 30 seasons with at least 1100 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists through 55 games in a season.
  6. Denver has won both matchups between these teams this season, most recently winning in Sacramento, 117-113, on January 3. The Nuggets have won their last four home games over the Kings and seven of their last eight games overall against Sacramento.

The Denver Nuggets have persevered through the first 56 games this season, spending time atop the Western Conference despite numerous injuries to key rotation players.

Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Will Barton and Jamal Murray have all missed chunks of time with injuries, yet the Nuggets (38-18) are in first place in the Northwest Division and off to their best start in their NBA history. Now, Denver is in position to come back stronger after the break and challenge Golden State, 2 1/2 games ahead entering Tuesday, for the top seed in the Western Conference.

First the Nuggets have to focus on Sacramento, which comes to town Wednesday night before the league takes off for its midseason festivities. It won't be an easy task. The Kings (30-26) have won five of their last six and are adjusting to new faces on their roster.

Sacramento acquired Harrison Barnes from Dallas, Alec Burks from Cleveland and Caleb Swanigan from Portland in three deals just before the trade deadline last week. Barnes has played 30 or more minutes in the Kings' two games since then, but Swanigan has yet to dress.

The trades -- which saw Sacramento deal Justin Jackson to Dallas, Iman Shumpert to Houston and Skal Labissiere to Portland -- haven't disrupted the locker room. But Barnes, who is making more than $24 million a year, has yet to put up significant numbers. Head coach Dave Joerger is trying to figure out how to integrate Barnes into the system while trying to lead Sacramento into the playoffs.

"I'm still learning what to do," Joerger told the Sacramento Bee. "How much I do I want to play Harrison at (small forward)? How much at (power forward)? And what do the matchups look like? And I need to get it done sooner than later because we're not going to find a rhythm if I don't figure it out quickly."

It's a tough adjustment to make during the season, and the Nuggets are in a similar position, albeit for different reasons. Denver didn't make any deals at the deadline, but it will add a player into the mix on Wednesday.

Guard Isaiah Thomas, who was signed in the offseason but has spent 10 1/2 months rehabbing from hip surgery, will make his Nuggets debut against the Kings, per ESPN. Thomas was initially expected to return after the All-Star break, but he ramped up his work in practice this week and was upgraded to questionable on Tuesday before Wednesday's report that he would play.

Harris is expected to come back after the break, giving head coach Michael Malone plenty of options to choose from down the stretch.

"It's going to be a great problem to have," Malone said after Denver's win over Miami on Monday night. "Our depth is something that we think we can wear teams down with, and we've shown that we're more than willing and capable of playing small at times. So, you can throw a small lineup out there.

"So, we'll figure it out. But let's let them get healthy first, and then we'll figure out what the best lineup is to win that game."

Malone has been able to figure out how to win without a lot of pieces. With the depth improving he will have more at his disposal for the stretch run.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 13, 2019

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