Demarcus Cousins dropped 30 points in the Kings home opener on Oct. 30.
The Denver Nuggets had won nine straight games against the Sacramento Kings coming into their season opener. First-year Kings coach Michael Malone ended that streak as Demarcus Cousins scored 30 pts and grabbed 11 boards in a 90-88 win over the Denver Nuggets at Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday.
Despite rumors of Nuggets guard Ty Lawson sitting out in the game with a groin injury, he played 35 min and recorded 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 8 Ast and 2 Stl.
1st Quarter: Kings-25, Nuggets-22
Lawson came out strong in the first quarter putting up 5 Pts, 4 Ast, 2 Rbs and 2 Stl. One of the prettiest plays of the quarter was a pick-and-roll between Lawson and Timofey Mozgov. As a whole, the Nuggets looked subpar. Besides hitting a few jump shots, there wasn’t anything too special on offense. They looked like a team trying to learn a new offense–which they are. They played decent man-to-man defense, but allowed 25 points. Andre Miller led all Nuggets scorers with six points.
2nd Quarter: Kings-48, Nuggets-45
The Nuggets opened the second quarter by missing four open jumpers. After falling 41-28 with 5:05 left in the half, they went on an 8-0 run sparked by two three-pointers from Randy Foye, and a JJ Hickson slam. JaVale McGee struggled with Cousins, and got frustrated. McGee sat out the remainder of the half after committing his third foul with 3:30 left. Lawson led the team with 11 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast and 2 Stl going into the half.
3rd Quarter: Kings-70, Nuggets-72
Lawson opened up the second half by hitting two free-throws and then nailing a three to give the Nuggets a 52-50 lead. The two teams went back and forth in scoring throughout the quarter. Cousins stood out for the Kings scoring eight points and earning six rebounds. Mozgov matched his season-high in points from last year for the Nuggets by dropping 10 Pts after three.
4th Quarter: Kings-90, Nuggets-88
Isiah Thomas quickly retook the lead for the Kings by knocking down two 3’s. The Nuggets came out slow, but stopped the bleeding by scoring with 8:19 left when Hickson laid in a shot over Cousins. Down six with 2:10 left in the game, the Nuggets went on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 82 a piece thanks to points from Hickson, Darrell Arthur and Lawson. Jason Thompson threw down a dunk on the weak side off a miss from Cousins with :42 left to put the Kings up 90-88. in the winding seconds Lawson went strong to the basket, and had a clear path, but missed a reverse layup. With .5 seconds left, Randy Foye launched a prayer three from the corner–but it bounced off the top of the backboard.
-Nuggets shot 88.2 percent from the free throw line.
-Nate Robinson struggled in his first game (Scored 0 points)
-McGee got into foul trouble early, and Mozgov got a bulk of the minutes (19:31) at Center.
-Lawson came into the game with ferocity. He wants an All-Star season.
-Foye can hit open 3-pointers generated from the triangle offense in a pinch.
-Hickson can defend relativly well in the post (4 blocks).
- Nuggets coach Brian Shaw is 0-1 at the helm.
The Nuggets next game is their home opener at the Pepsi Center on Friday against the Portland Trailblazers. The Hardwood Gold Rush crew will provide live coverage from the game via twitter. Expect a post game analysis on Saturday from Peter Sherwill.
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