NBA 2018-19: 3 Talking points from the Denver Nuggets win over the Sacramento Kings
The Denver Nuggets withstood a heavily-offensive first half by the Sacramento Kings and brave through eventually to come up with an impressive 117-113 road victory.
Denver coach, Mike Malone, who is also a former Sacramento coach and did not have the best exit from the franchise, had some words for his former team before the game even kicked off:
"I hope they give Dave [Joerger] a chance and don't screw it up for him."
The West leaders bested the hosts to take their fourth consecutive win and in the process, handed the Kings their third straight loss. This was Denver's eight win over the previous ten games as they lead the three-game season series 2-0 against the Kings.
Denver won four straight before dropping a couple to the Clippers and Spurs, but look solid again across their last four games, as they now lead the Warriors and Thunder by 1.5 games on the West leaderboard. They have provided the very first signs of any clear demarcation in the West this season, separating themselves from the pack with a 25-11 (0.694) win-loss record to their name.
On the other hand, the Kings have now lost four of their last five matchups, dropping down to the ninth spot out West. They currently possess a 19-19 (0.500) record, now seven games behind the West leaders in the Nuggets.
Let's draw out some key takeaways from this impressive Nuggets road win over the tumbling Kings.
#1 The Joker impresses with a double-double while Murray takes care of the offence down the stretch
Jokic dropped 10 of his 26 points in the first quarter, also adding 13 rebounds and six assists to finish with an imposing double-double. While the Joker shot 10-of-18 from the floor, Jamal Murray was busy stacking up a game-high total of 36 points on 12-of-24 shooting and netting six threes on the night.
Murray squeezed in 17 points in the final period, which included a couple of dagger threes in the dying minutes to take the game away from the hosts once and for all.
What preceded Jamal's heroics was a strong 31-point third quarter which brought them back into the ball-game,
"Loved the effort to start that third quarter ... and get right back into the game. Then, obviously, Jamal went into the phone booth and came out like Superman in the second half.", said Mike Malone after the game.