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3 Kings players top 30 points in comeback win over Nuggets

Dec 28, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Bones Hyland (3) dribbles the ball against Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell (15) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Monk scored 33 points, including a free throw with 0.7 seconds left, and the host Sacramento Kings beat the Denver Nuggets 127-126 on Wednesday night.

Domantas Sabonis had 31 points and 10 rebounds despite playing with a fractured thumb, and De’Aaron Fox also scored 31 for the Kings, who split the two home games against Denver on back-to-back days.

Sacramento head coach Mike Brown missed both games after being placed in the health and safety protocol on Tuesday. Assistant Jordi Fernandez served as the acting coach.

Nikola Jokic had 40 points, Bones Hyland scored 20, Michael Porter Jr. 19 and Zeke Nnaji 14 for the Nuggets. Denver played without Jamal Murray (knee soreness), Aaron Gordon (right shoulder strain) and Bruce Brown (right ankle sprain).

The Kings, who trailed by 11 to start the fourth, scored nine straight points to make it 112-110 with 5:31 left.

Jokic scored eight points to keep Denver in the lead, but Monk’s layup tied it at 122 with 1:46 left.

The Nuggets missed and Fox hit a jumper to give the Kings their first lead of the game. Jokic hit two free throws to tie it, the teams traded dunks and Jokic missed a jumper with 5.1 seconds left that would have given Denver the lead.

After a timeout, Monk was fouled by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as he drove to the basket. He missed the first free throw but made the second to put Sacramento ahead, and Jokic missed a 25-footer at the buzzer.

The Nuggets led by as many as 19 in the first half, but the Kings cut into the lead with a 10-4 run in the final 1:28 of the second quarter to trail 75-62 at intermission.

Hyland’s 3-pointer a minute into the third quarter gave the Nuggets an 80-65 lead, but Sacramento got within 82-75 on 3-pointers by Keegan Murray and Kevin Huerter.

After a timeout, Denver built up the lead again. Hyland converted a three-point play, Jokic hit a couple of short jumpers, Nnaji made a baseline 19-footer and Davon Reed drained a shot in the lane to make it 100-81.

–Field Level Media