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Recap: Nuggets dominate the 4th quarter and defeat the Kings 128-110 behind 31 Will Barton points

Congratulations to coach Malone on his 300th win as a Nugget head coach!

Denver Nuggets v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets get a feel-good win against the Sacramento Kings 128-110 as they win their fourth straight. Michael Malone also secured his 300th win as a Nugget against the team that fired him years ago. He joins Doug Moe and George Karl as the only Nugget coaches in the 300 win club. This game was close for much of the contest until Denver blitzed Sacramento in the fourth quarter. They outscored them 36-23 in the fourth as both sides of the ball clicked late in the game.

Nikola Jokic did not record a shot until the 4:40 mark in the first, but he ended the night by scoring 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists on 9-15 shooting. The MVP of this game was Will Barton. He scored a season-high 31 points on 11-17 shooting and 3-6 from beyond the arc. He looked comfortable and energetic all night so hopefully, he can bottle the spirit he provided tonight and translate it towards the rest of the season. The Nuggets scored 10 or more threes for the 20th straight time this season which is now a franchise record, and they also creep within one game of the Mavericks for the 5th seed. Denver’s next task will be against this same Kings squad on Saturday at 7:00 PM MT.

1st Quarter

  • Uncle Jeff introduced the game with a triple from the wing. Sabonis would then back down Jokic and convert a left-handed hook. On the next possession, Sabonis gave the Kings a 5-3 lead with a three
  • Denver grabbed the 9-5 lead with a mid-range jumper from Gordon and four straight Barton points. Aaron Gordon then slid to the basket for a smooth finger roll, but Fox responded with a three at the other end
  • Will Barton cashed a three off a Jokic assist to gain a 16-10 advantage. Barton followed with a lob dunk from Morris, but Harkless answered with a corner three
  • Harrison Barnes drove to the rack for a layup which decreased the Nugget lead to just three at 20-17. After a couple of scoreless possessions by both teams, rookie Davion Mitchell attacked the basket for an and-one to tie the game
  • Jokic converted his first shot attempt of the night at the 4:40 mark. It was a three from the wing, and the next possession, Monte followed it up with a three from the same spot for the 26-20 lead
  • Two Damian Jones free throws and a DiVincenzo layup diminished the lead to four until Rivers made a beautiful move for a layup. The next possession, Bones hit a three to obtain their biggest lead to that point 33-24

Score: 35-25 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Barton - 9, Sabonis - 7

2nd Quarter

  • Sabonis began the quarter with a driving layup off a DiVincenzo assist. The Nuggets missed their first three shots of the quarter as DiVincenzo would capitalize with a three, but Forbes answered with a three at the other end
  • Sabonis knocked in a triple from the top of the arc and converted a three-point play following an offensive rebound. That got the Kings within two at 40-38, and then Fox tied it up with a mid-range fadeaway
  • Barton’s layup and Monte’s three extended the lead back to five, but Sabonis quickly responded with a physical layup. Two Barnes free throws had the Kings creeping within one until Barton tossed a beautiful assist to Jokic for a layup
  • Sabonis and Lamb would follow with two consecutive mid-range jumpers, but Barton and Jokic would combine for four straight points for the 51-48 lead
  • Following a Kings timeout, Denver offered Lamb a wide-open mid-range jumper for two. Rivers then forced a Kings turnover for a layup at the other end. Fox and Barton traded baskets on consecutive possessions as Denver maintained a 55-52 advantage
  • Jokic orchestrated a three-point play off a high-arching layup, but Barnes attacked the paint with a floater at the other end. Jokic then hit a three as the shot clock wound down and assisted a Morris layup to increase the lead to five

Score: 63-58 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Sabonis - 19, Jokic/Barton - 15

3rd Quarter

  • Sabonis’s hook shot and Holiday’s three opened the scoring for Sacramento. Will Barton would then hit a contested mid-range and assist a Jokic layup
  • Barton knocked in his second three from the top of the arc and sank two free throws for a 72-65 Denver lead. The Nuggets forced two consecutive Sacramento turnovers which resulted in a Jeff Green one-handed jam
  • Denver forced their third straight turnover and Barton converted it into a triple at the other end. Gordon followed with a turnaround jumper from the post as the Nuggets went on a 12-0 scoring run
  • Barnes ended the run with a three-pointer and Sabonis added a floater to get the Kings within nine at 79-70. Gordon and Fox then traded layups, but Sabonis would score four in a row as the Kings clawed within five, 81-76
  • Monte Morris hit a floater out of a Denver timeout and Gordon muscled home a layup on the next offensive possession. Four Barnes points and a Sabonis floater decreased the Nugget lead to 87-82, then DiVincenzo knocked in a three to diminish it even further
  • JaMychal Green ended the scoring run for Kings with a three and Uncle Jeff hit a fadeaway as the shot clock expired, but Davion Mitchell ended the quarter with a mid-range fadeaway

Score: 92-87 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Sabonis - 29, Barton - 25

4th Quarter

  • Austin Rivers sank a tough three from the corner to introduce the final quarter. Forbes then added another triple to grow the Nugget advantage to 98-87
  • After two Lamb free throws, JaMychal matched it with two from the line. Lamb responded with a corner three, but JaMychal continued his physical play and grabbed an offensive rebound resulting in two free throws
  • Sabonis then hammered a dunk off a Mitchell assist, but it was quickly answered by a JaMychal Green triple. Fox hit a mid-range jumper after 1 of 2 free throws from Joker, but then Barton secured a three-point play with a contested layup
  • The Nugget lead was 109-96 before Jokic and Morris scored two consecutive layups. Fox terminated the Denver run with two mid-range jumpers
  • Morris scored on a wide-open layup to lengthen the lead to 16 and Barton followed with an and-one layup. Sabonis answered with his own layup, but Jokic swished a beautiful left-handed skyhook at the other end
  • Morris sank a step-back three as Denver acquired their largest lead of the game at 124-104

Score: 128-110 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Sabonis - 33, Barton - 31

Stat leaders

Points: Sabonis - 33

Rebounds: Sabonis - 14

Assists: Jokic - 9

Silent hero of the game: JaMychal Green - 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block in 15 minutes. His physical minutes at the end of the 3rd and early in the fourth completely changed the tide of the game