Game Recap: Kings vs. Nuggets

Starting Line-ups

Kings

  • Beno Udrih
  • Tyreke Evans
  • Francisco Garcia
  • Jason Thompson
  • DeMarcus Cousins

Reserves:  Jermaine Taylor, Donté Greene, Samuel Dalembert, Carl Landry, Omri Casspi, Darnell Jackson, Pooh Jeter.

Inactive:  Luther Head.

Nuggets

  • Chauncey Billups
  • Aaron Afflalo
  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Sheldon Williams
  • Nené

Reserves:   Anthony Carter, Ty Lawson, J.R. Smith, Chris Andersen, Renaldo Balkman, Gary Forbes.

Inactive: Kenyon Martin.

First Quarter Recap

The Nuggets got off to a blistering start, shooting 83% from the field in the first 5:30 minutes of the first quarter.  Nené gave the Kings fits much like he did Saturday night in Denver, scoring seven early points and drawing two quick fouls on Jason Thompson.  Carmelo Anthony also started strong, putting up eight early points, but on the defensive end, Kings’ small forward Francisco Garcia torched Anthony for four first quarter three pointers.  Carl Landry came in and gave the Kings a boost off the bench with seven points, helping his team take a two point advantage into the second quarter.

Kings  29  Nuggets  27

Leaders

Kings-   Garcia (12) Points;   Four tied (2) Rebounds;   Evans (2) Assists.

Nuggets-   Anthony (8) Points;   Nené (4) Rebounds;   Nené (2) Assists.

Second Quarter Recap

In an up and down affair, the Kings pushed their lead to 15 at one point in the second.  Rookie DeMarcus Cousins scored seven points early to push his game total to 13 while Tyreke Evans scored 12 in the quarter by aggressively attacking the rim early and often.  The tandem of Garcia and Casspi hit six three pointers in the half, combining for 18 points from the small forward position.  The Kings continued to struggle with Nené, and veteran Al Harrington gave the Nuggets’ bench a nice boost, but the Kings looked like the hungrier team in the first half.  Going into the break, the Kings held an impressive 14 point lead over the Denver Nuggets.

Kings  69  Nuggets  55

Leaders

Kings-   Evans (16) Points;   Dalembert/Cousins (3) Rebounds;   Evans (7) Assists.

Nuggets-   Harrington/Anthony (12) Points;   Nené (4) Rebounds;   Lawson (3) Assists.

Team                  Kings         Nuggets
FG%                     60.5%         57.1%
Rebounds          15                 14
Assists/TO        11/5             14/11

Third Quarter Recap

The third got a little dicey.  The Kings pushed their lead up to 16 early, but the Nuggets responded and by the mid-point of the quarter had reduced the Kings’ lead to five.  The Kings couldn’t get out of their own way in the third, picking up two technical fouls on defensive three seconds and a third on a DeMarcus Cousins mini-meltdown.  The Nuggets tied the game at 79-79 around the three minute mark, but the Kings responded with a 12-0 run to light a fire under the fans.  After a late basket by J.R. Smith, the Kings took a 10 point lead into the fourth.

Kings  91  Nuggets  81

Leaders

Kings-   Evans (22) Points;   Evans/Casspi (4) Rebounds;   Evans (9) Assists.

Nuggets-   Anthony (24) Points;   Nené (6) Rebounds;   Nené/Lawson (3) Assists.

Fourth Quarter Recap

The Kings continued their surge to start the fourth, opening up with a 7-0 burst to run their lead up to 17.  Over the last three minutes of the third, and first four minutes of the fourth, the Kings went on a 23-2 run and buried the Nuggets.  Nine different Kings scored in the fourth, led by five points apiece by DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans.  Aggressive defense and balanced scoring by the Kings proved to be too much for the visiting Nuggets as the home team dominated a quality opponent for one of the first times this season.

Kings Win!

Kings  122  Nuggets  102

Leaders

Kings-   Evans (27) Points;   Cousins/Casspi (6) Rebounds;   Evans (12) Assists.

Nuggets-   Anthony (26) Points;   Nené (8) Rebounds;   Lawson/Nené (3) Assists.

Team                    Kings         Nuggets
FG%                      56.4%           50.7%
Rebounds           33                  30
Assists/TO         19/15           12/22

Player of the Game:  Tyreke Evans.  Wow, the plantar fasciitis looked much better tonight.  Last year’s rookie of the year scored 27 points on 11-18 shooting and kicked in 12 assists for a quality double-double.  Evans rolled his left ankle early in the game, but shook off the injury and put in a stellar 42 minutes of work.

The Difference Maker:  DeMarcus Cousins.  DMC cruised to another 20 point performance, making that his fourth in the last five games.  Cousins shot 7-12 from the field and 6-8 from the line, while tying for the team lead in rebounds with six.  Cousins got an early technical for, according to him, “standing up too fast,” but he calmed down and played the rest of the game without incident.

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About: James Ham

James Ham provides coverage through news analysis and in-depth interviews with Kings players and staff. James is also one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart". James graduated UC Davis with a degree in history and is happily married with two children.