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Nuggets cruise past sliding Kings

Sportsnaut
Jan 7, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) dunks the ball in the first quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) dunks the ball in the first quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic had 33 points and 10 rebounds, Jeff Green scored 18 points after missing three games while on the COVID-19 list and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Sacramento Kings 121-111 on Friday night.

Bones Hyland, Monte Morris and JaMychal Green scored 13 apiece and Aaron Gordon and Will Barton each had 10 points for the Nuggets.

Denver is 2-2 with head coach Michael Malone in health and safety protocols and assistant Popeye Jones filling in.

De’Aaron Fox led Sacramento with 30 points, Alex Len had 18 points, Tyrese Haliburton added 14 and Marvin Bagley III scored 12.

The Nuggets led by three midway through the first quarter and then went on a 16-4 run to take a 32-17 lead on a three-point play by Jeff Green. It was still a 15-point advantage late in the first when the Kings made a run.

Haliburton ended the period with a 3-pointer, Buddy Hield and Maurice Harkless opened the second with corner 3-pointers and Hield made a technical free throw to cap a 10-0 stretch and pull Sacramento to within 35-30.

Jeff Green hit two layups, Austin Rivers made a driving layup, Hyland hit a pair of 3-pointers and JaMychal Green drained a 26-footer in a 15-2 Denver run that made it 50-32 with 7:33 left in the second quarter.

Jokic made a layup and fed JaMychal Green for a dunk that helped the Nuggets go up by 20, but the Kings ended the second on an 11-3 run to get within 66-54 at halftime.

Sacramento kept surging and got within 70-66 on Haliburton’s 3-pointer and had a chance to cut it to one, but Fox missed from deep. Denver went on a 17-6 run, with Jokic scoring nine of those, to make it 87-72.

Jeff Green had two dunks and a layup off passes from Facu Campazzo to make it 96-85 to end the third period.

The Nuggets opened the fourth on a 12-2 run to push the advantage to 108-87 before they closed it out.

–Field Level Media