The Denver Nuggets came into Sacramento on a back to back to face the Kings. Unfortunately, tired legs ruled the day for the Nuggets with them shooting 24% from three. That ultimately proved to be the difference in the game. The Kings get big performances from Malik Monk and DeAaron Fox (not so big from Fox to hit the over on his points though making the Thing to Bet cash again) on their way to lighting the beam and spoiling a major Nikola Jokic triple double. Denver made a game of it late but ultimately comes up short.

The Kings got a good start behind Fox that gave them a small lead. Jokic pushed back leading the Nuggets on a run to get the lead up to five before the Kings answered and quickly got the game tied. After that the offenses stalled a bit and both teams got stuck on sixteen points. Joker got the lead back for Denver as the quarter started to wind down. He hit an array of 7 foot floaters on his way to a massive scoring output in the first quarter and put Denver ahead by eight when he checked out. The Kings knocked down some threes and got back within three with a minute to play. Watson erased a Fox layup attempt near the end of the quarter and Denver ended the first with a 30-25 lead.

The Nuggets couldn’t score to start the second, partially because Javale McGee was throwing it back a decade and blocking everything in site. The Kings went on a 10-2 run and Michael Malone took a timeout. It didn’t help at all and the Kings kept their run going. The lead grew to eight, Malone took another timeout and put Jokic back in. A -13 for the Non-Jokic minutes in the first half. McGee was playing out of his mind and blocking everything but once Jokic came back in at least the bleeding stopped. Denver was struggling to close the gap though. The Kings seemed to be getting every bounce to go their way while the Nuggets were still without a three pointer with a minute to go in the half. Fox hit a layup right before the end of the half and a disastrous quarter for the Nuggets came to a close with Denver trailing 64-50.

The Nuggets bully balled the start to the second half to get a 6-0 run on all paint points. Keegan Murray responded with a pair of three pointers to put the lead right back above double digits. Amazingly, Denver still could not hit a three point attempt.Β  Even when they got fouled on three point attempts they couldn’t hit their free throws. The Kings were able to keep their lead around fifteen with half the quarter gone. Denver rallied on defense despite the offense still struggling. They started chipping away and with just over two minutes in the quarter they trailed by nine. The momentum was turning in the Nuggets favor with the quarter coming to an end. They got as close as five but a Malik Monk three and a Fox steal and layup put it back to ten to end the third. Nuggets trail 88-78.

Denver opened the fourth ready to go and started with a 7-0 run to pull within five again. Sacramento responded and was aided by some sloppy play by Denver. Just like that the lead was back above ten. Denver continued to be terrible from three and you started to feel like the game was getting away from them. Jokic kept the lead from growing but it was quickly becoming a matter of the Nuggets running out of time. Jackson hit a three to pull it withing eight with just over five minutes to go to breath life into the Nuggets once again. Denver kept the pressure on, they pulled within three and Mike Brown had to take a timeout with the game suddenly in jeopardy. It went back and forth between Fox and Jokic after that with Sacramento clinging to the lead. Denver had a couple open threes to try and get closer than five but couldn’t cash in. Monk knocked down a three with just over a minute to go to push the lead to seven and the Nuggets were on life support. Denver did their best but Kevin Huerter knocked down another three with 20 seconds to go and that was it. Denver loses 123-117.