Domantas Sabonis' big night not enough to overcome Nuggets team effort

2022-02-25 05:45
Credit: AP - Scanpix

Will Barton scored a season-high 31 points, Nikola Jokic barely missed a triple-double and the Denver Nuggets (34-25) earned their fourth straight win, beating the host Sacramento Kings (22-39) 128-110 (35-25, 28-33, 29-29, 36-23) on Thursday.

Jokic amassed 25 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, and four steals as the Nuggets prevailed for the sixth time in seven games.

Denver led almost throughout, trailing only by a basket early into the first quarter. Despite playing from behind most of the way, Sacramento remained within striking distance behind game-highs of 33 points and 14 rebounds from Domantas Sabonis.

Player of the Game
Nikola  Jokic
Nikola Jokic
Points 25
Accuracy 9-15
Rebounds 12
Assists 9

The double-double was Sabonis' fourth in five games since joining the Kings in a trade from Indiana before the All-Star break.

A Sabonis dunk with 8:22 to go in the fourth quarter pulled Sacramento to within eight points, but Denver's JaMychal Green answered on the next possession with a 3-pointer.

Green's basket ignited an 11-2 Nuggets run that effectively ended the Kings' hope for a rally.

Barton shot 11-for-17 from the floor overall and 3-for-6 from 3-point range. Monte Morris went 3-of-4 from deep, contributing to Denver's 15-of-35 long-range effort, and finished with 19 points.

Green chipped in another 2-for-2 from 3-point range and scored 12 points off the bench. Aaron Gordon added 12 points, six rebounds, and three steals in the win, which was the 300th of coach Michael Malone's tenure with the Nuggets.

Malone became the Denver head coach in 2015 after he was the head coach in Sacramento for 1 1/2 seasons.

De'Aaron Fox scored 20 points in the loss for Sacramento, and Harrison Barnes added 14. Jeremy Lamb, who came with Sabonis in the trade from Indiana, notched 11 points off the bench. Sabonis led the Kings with five assists.

Sacramento shot 43 of 86 (50 percent) from the floor but just 9 of 29 (31 percent) from beyond the arc. The discrepancy in 3-point shooting and an 18-10 Nuggets advantage in points off turnovers contributed to the outcome, which was the Kings' third consecutive loss.

Kings: Domantas Sabonis 33 (13/20 2PT, 2/3 3PT, 14 REB, 5 AST, 4 TO), De'Aaron Fox 20 (8/15 2PT, 4 AST, 2 BLK, 4 TO), Harrison Barnes 14 (5/6 FT, 7 REB, 4 AST), Jeremy Lamb 11 (2 BLK).

Nuggets: Will Barton 31 (8/11 2PT, 3/6 3PT, 6/6 FT, 5 REB), Nikola Jokic 25 (7/11 2PT, 2/4 3PT, 5/7 FT, 12 REB, 9 AST, 4 STL), Monte Morris 19 (4/5 2PT, 3/4 3PT, 4 AST), Aaron Gordon 12 (6/9 2PT, 6 REB, 3 STL), JaMychal Green 12 (2/2 3PT).

Full game highlights:

Domantas Sabonis highlights:

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