Nuggets at Kings
The Denver Nuggets got a quick home win out of the way. Now its back to the road. The Nuggets have played more road games than any other team and will get another when they visit the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Denver is just 6-11 on the road but has won its last two trips to Sacramento, where the Kings are returning following a four-game trip. Sacramento dropped the final three games of that journey.
The Nuggets have traded off wins and losses over their last eight games and held off the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. Denver, which has not played back-to-back games at home since Nov. 23 and 25, will not get consecutive contests in its own arena until Jan. 1 and 3. All that travel has kept the Nuggets from gaining much consistency, especially on the defensive end. The Kings, who have surrendered an average of 110 points in the last three games, know all about defensive struggles.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), Comcast SportsNet California (Sacramento)
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (12-12): Denver has given up 92.3 points in each of its last three wins but has been gouged for 109.3 in the last three losses. But the Nuggets are coming off one of their more impressive performances, scoring 30 points in the fourth quarter to steal a 99-94 victory from one of the best defensive teams in the league in the Memphis Grizzlies. That win featured a return to form for Andre Iguodala, who scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting after shooting 26.7 percent in the previous six games. Denver will return home to face San Antonio on Tuesday before heading back out onto the road. The Nuggets’ 17 road games are two more than any other team.
ABOUT THE KINGS (7-15): Sacramento opened its trip with a 99-80 win at Portland on Dec. 8 but had its defense abandon it over the next three contests. The Kings allowed Dallas to shoot 55.2 percent in the next game and never got back on track at Milwaukee or Oklahoma City. The bright spot in Friday’s 113-103 loss at Oklahoma City came from Isaiah Thomas, who scored 26 points in just 16 minutes off the bench. The second-year point guard had seen his playing time decrease recently and had totaled just 15 points in the previous three contests. Thomas was held to seven points in the last meeting with the Nuggets - a 119-116 overtime loss at Denver on Mar. 5, 2012.
1. Denver has taken five straight and seven of the last eight in the series.
2. Kings G Marcus Thornton (personal) has missed the last two games and is expected to be out on Sunday as well.
3. Iguodala has averaged 15.1 points on 55.6 percent shooting in 15 career games against Sacramento.
Nuggets 106, Kings 101.