Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

December 16, 2012
In-game blog: Kings vs. Nuggets

FINAL
Nuggets 122, Kings 97

The Nuggets sat their starters the entire fourth quarter and still scored the most points allowed by the Kings this season. Denver shot 54 percent, led by reserve center Javale McGee, who scored 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting.

Isaiah Thomas had 20 points for the Kings, mostly on 13-of-15 free-throw shooting. DeMarcus Cousins added 19 points and 11 rebounds.

The Kings (7-16) have now lost four consecutive games after their season-best three-game winning streak. They play tomorrow night at Phoenix.

THIRD QUARTER
Nuggets 97, Kings 67

This one has gotten away from the Kings. Six different players are in double figures for the Nuggets, led by Danilo Gallinari (18 points) and Javale McGee (17 off the bench).

The Kings' season-high number of points allowed is 119. That's certainly within reach for the Nuggets, who are shooting 59 percent.

DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson both have double-doubles for the Kings, Cousins with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Thompson with 16 and 10.

Ty Lawson hit a three-pointer over Thompson with 6:37 left in the quarter to give the Nuggets a 26-point lead, their largest at the time. Thompson spun away in frustration and Kings coach Keith Smart got up and called a timeout.

There have been no outbursts from Smart toward his team, after he lit into them during a timeout during the Kings' loss to Oklahoma City on Friday. But Smart did pick up a technical foul for walking to half-court and barking at the officials after Cousins went up for a shot, drew significant contact and was not awarded a foul.

It was the third technical for the Kings in the game. They now have 16 on the season.

Cousins has not been pleased with the officiating on several plays. With 1:19 left in the quarter he went in for a dunk attempt, clanged it off the rim and was left looking around in vain for a foul.

HALFTIME
Nuggets 64, Kings 46

Denver's Jordan Hamilton and Javale McGee have come off the bench and shredded the Kings for a combined 26 points on 10-for-12 shooting. The Nuggets are getting a lot of open looks and shooting 61 percent as a team, while the Kings are shooting 35 percent.

Kings head coach Keith Smart is shuffling his lineup looking for somebody to provide a spark but hasn't found it. Jason Thompson has 14 points and nine rebounds. Isaiah Thomas replaced Aaron Brooks at point guard late in the first quarter and played the rest of the half, but is 1-for-5 with four points and two assists.

The Kings have seven assists as a team.

Guard Tyreke Evans left the game with a sore knee and is not expected to return. Evans missed three games from Dec. 7-10 with a sore left knee, and said after the team's practice Saturday the knee was still bothering him.

Jimmer Fredette and Thomas Robinson are the only two Kings players who haven't gotten into the game. Robinson is a high-energy player and Fredette can be a spark shooter, so we'll see if Smart turns to either in the second half.

Danilo Gallinari has added 12 points for the Nuggets.

FIRST QUARTER
Nuggets 32, Kings 23

The Kings got off to a frigid start from the field and shot 33 percent in the first quarter en route to a nine-point deficit. That number was driven down by a flurry of missed put-back opportunities. The Nuggets give up the most second-chance points in the league, and the Kings had chances. They just missed them.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, shot 62 percent with several of their baskets coming on wide-open looks in transition. The Kings were sluggish getting up and down the floor early in the quarter and it looked like coach Keith Smart would begin subbing in reserves with about four minutes left, before he called them back.

Danilo Gallinari leads all scorers with 10 points, and also has three assists for Denver. Jason Thompson leads the Kings with six points and six rebounds.

With 1:38 left, Kings point guard Aaron Brooks committed a hard foul on Nuggets guard Andre Miller. The two had words and had to be separated, with the Nuggets' Kenneth Faried and the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins joining the scrum. All four players were given technical fouls after a video review. That makes seven on the season for Cousins.

Isaiah Thomas was the first point guard off the bench for the Kings.



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