Kings overcome depleted Nuggets, Jokic career high
FILE – Tyrese Haliburton #0 congratulates De’Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings after Fox made a basket against the Boston Celtics at Golden 1 Center on February 03, 2021 in Sacramento, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP
Harrison Barnes scored 28 points as the red-hot Sacramento Kings overcame Nikola Jokic’s 50-point night with a 119-114 victory over the under-manned Denver Nuggets on Saturday.
The Kings used a balanced scoring attack to continue their dominance over the Nuggets. They have won all three contests this season and six of the past seven duels.
The Kings have won six of seven after opening the season 5-10.
“It’s hard work and trust that has led us to a turnaround,” coach Luke Walton said. “The group’s continued to believe in each other, believe in what we’re building. There’s just a confidence with the group and we’re giving ourselves chances.”
Jokic shot 20-of-33 from the floor to post a career-high points total for Denver, who have lost three of their last four games. He also dished out 12 assists and grabbed eight rebounds.
The Nuggets played without All-Star Jamal Murray, who sat out with a sore left knee.
Canada’s Murray is averaging 19 points and five assists a game this season. Gary Harris (left adductor strain) missed his second consecutive game, and P.J. Dozier (right hamstring strain) missed his fifth game in a row for Denver.
Murray was replaced in the starting lineup by Monte Morris, who tallied 11 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Paul Millsap finished with 14 points, Will Barton 11 and JaMychal Green 10.
Four Kings players scored 20 or more points, including rookie Tyrese Haliburton with 23 points on eight-of-12 shooting.
De’Aaron Fox finished with 24 points and five assists, while Richaun Holmes posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
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