Denver Nuggets Prevail Without Malone and Millsap, Down Sacramento Kings 114-98
Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried blocks Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic shot in the fourth quarter at Golden 1 Center. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. Nov. 20, 2017.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. –The Denver Nuggets were without head coach Michael Malone, power forward Paul Millsap, and small forward Wilson Chandler for the game against the Sacramento Kings.
It didn’t matter.
Assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr., reserve small forward Will Barton, and Denver’s bench filled in nicely.
The Nuggets defeated the Sacramento Kings 114-98 at Golden 1 Center on Monday night. Denver (10-7) broke the ninth tie of the game late in the third quarter and did not look back. The Nuggets ended the Kings’ three-game winning streak at home.
Barton had 25 points, six rebounds, and five assists in nearly 37 minutes. He made 9 of 15 shots, including 5 of 6 from beyond the arc. Kings swingman Garrett Temple was impressed with Barton’s performance.
“He’s a guy that can get off,” Temple said of 6-foot-6 Barton, a second-year player out of Memphis. “They have him playing with the second unit mostly and he's a guy who can do a lot of things offensively. He’s that guy who can create for himself.”
Gary Harris had 20 points, three rebounds, two assists, and three steals for the Nuggets, who have won nine of their last 13 games. Jamal Murray added 18 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the floor. Nikola Jokic contributed 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Denver’s bench only scored 28 points, but made 22 of 42 shoots from the field at a dead-even 50 percent. Unseld said he needed “all hands on deck” before the game and that's exactly what he got back in return.
Unseld went as far as crediting Darrell Arthur and Richard Jefferson, two players that did see a second on the floor.
“No coach Malone and that within itself is a huge hole for us,” Unseld said. “No Paul. No Wilson. So, we had no other choice. All 13 guys in the locker room had to contribute. That was the type of effort we needed to have.”
Denver assistant coach Unseld Jr. was called to duty while head coach Malone served out an one-game suspension for several infractions during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. Malone was also docked the Kings’ game without pay.
Chandler sat out the game due to a sore back. Millsap didn’t make the trip to Sacramento. He sprained his left wrist the night before against the Los Angeles Lakers. His timetable to return to court is yet to be determine.
The Kings were outrebounded on the glass 49-34.
“I think there’s a lot for us to learn tonight,” said Kings head coach Dave Joerger. “We had them 63-63 in the third quarter, and then they got away from us. They just went by us and we just looked small and slow.”
Publicity Agents OpticalVision footage by T. Ray Harvey. Nov. 20, 2017.
George Hill had 16 points, four steals, three rebounds, two assists for the Kings (4-13), who have dropped their last two games. Kostas Koufos added 16 points, four rebounds and three-blocked shots. Zach Randolph and De’Aaron Fox had 12 points each for Sacramento.
In all, there were (nine) lead changes and (seven) ties in the first half and both teams were bottled up at 47-47 at halftime. Barton lead the Nugget's first 24 minutes with 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting.
The Nuggets began to pull away in the third quarter when Trey Lyles made two straight 3-point shots and Barton added another trey to increase Denver lead 79-68 with with 56 seconds left to in the third quarter. The Nuggets lead 81-70 to start the final frame.
Murray took over in the fourth quarter by making 5 of six shots from the floor and three from the charity stripe. The Nuggets opened the quarter on a 31-17 scoring burst, completed with a 3-point shot by Barton to make the score 111-89 with 2:21 left to play.
“Perseverance. Guys stepped up, starting with coach (Wes),” Barton said. “Wes stepped up. Without Paul and Wilson, our team stepped up. I felt like everybody that got in the game played with great energy and did their job.”
Before the game against the Nuggets, the Kings came in 0-11 when trailing at the half this season. Fortunately, it was a 47-47 tie for this match. The Kings did make it 0-12 this season when they fall behind after three quarters.
Buddy Hield was sidelined for the second game in a row with an ankle injury that could keep him out of the home game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Nuggets are now 3-5 on the road this season. They had failed to beat a Western Conference team in two tries. But now the Nuggets are 1-2, thanks to the Kings. The Nuggets are 7-2 at the Pepsi Center and have won 9 of their last 13 games.
The league rescinded a technical foul assessed to center Nikola Jokic for the game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Jokic was also ejected from the game too.
Paul Millsap did not play against the Kings. He left the Lakers’ game with a sprained left wrist. X-rays came back negative. Kenneth Faried started at power forward.
On The Marquee
Sacramento Kings: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 22.
Denver Nuggets: On the road at Houston on Nov. 22.
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.