The Denver Nuggets will face the Sacramento Kings for the second time this season on Friday. Denver, which lost a close 123-117 decision in Sacramento, will be looking to tie the series against the hosts. Accomplishing that may be quite tough as the Nuggets will be playing the Kings less than 24 hours after beating the LA Lakers.
Sacramento is on the heels of an embarrassing 133-120 loss to the Detroit Pistons, the team with the worst record in the NBA, on Wednesday. They are also in a mini-slump after also succumbing 136-110 to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. The Kings will have to shake out of their stupor as the defending champs are coming to invade their home court.
The Nuggets are unsurprisingly climbing the Western Conference standings. Thursday’s 114-106 win against the LA Lakers pushed them to 36-16, the same record as the Minnesota Timberwolves for the best in their conference. The defending champs are rolling again and will be looking to test Sacramento on the road.
Denver Nuggets vs Sacramento Kings: Preview, prediction and betting tips
The Kings will host the Nuggets at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California Friday at 10:00 p.m. ET. NBC Sports California and Altitude Sports are two of the local networks that will cover the game. Streaming the matchup is also available by subscribing to the NBA League Pass.
Basketball fans can tune in to SiriusXM, Sactown Sports 1140 AM and Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM to listen in to the action.
Moneyline: Nuggets (+100) vs. Kings (-120)
Spread: Nuggets (+1.0) vs. Kings (-1.0)
Total: Nuggets (o233.5 -110) vs. Kings (u233.5 -110)
Denver Nuggets vs Sacramento Kings: Game Preview
The Denver Nuggets have been leaning on balanced scoring over the past two weeks to beat opponents. They did it again versus the Lakers on Thursday when Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. all had at least 24 points. Denver’s attack will be tough to stop if it can continue sharing the scoring load.
Jokic will remain as the head of the snake when facing the Nuggets. He carved up Anthony Davis and the Lakers for 24 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. Sacramento’s first order of business will be trying to make his life difficult.
The Kings put in disappointing performances in losses to the Cavaliers and Pistons. They gave up an average of 135.0 points in those games. Their defense will have to significantly step up as Denver’s offense is fully capable of dissecting them.
Denver Nuggets vs Sacramento Kings: Starting lineups
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope sat out Denver’s last two games due to a hamstring injury. If he’s cleared to play against the Kings, he will get his customary spot in the starting five. If not, Justin Holiday could continue taking his spot.
Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon and Jamal Murray are expected to open the game for the Denver Nuggets.
The Sacramento Kings are likely to have Domantas Sabonis, Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, De’Aaron Fox and Kevin Huerter.
Denver Nuggets vs Sacramento Kings: Betting tips
The over/under points prop for De’Aaron Fox is 23.5, which is lower than his season average of 26.9 PPG. Fox had a miserable game against the Pistons, finishing with just 12 points. Expect him to play much better versus the defending champs and get past his points prop.
Nikola Jokic’s over/under points prop is 27.5, which is higher than his season average of 26.3 PPG. This month, “The Joker” is putting up 26.7 points per contest. In the previous meeting against the Kings, he had 36 points, which could be the trend in the rematch. The reigning NBA Finals MVP could get over his points prop on Friday.
Denver Nuggets vs Sacramento Kings: Prediction
The Denver Nuggets have been playing better than the Sacramento Kings, particularly over the last two games. Even if the Mile High City team is playing the back end of consecutive games, it could still beat the hosts and even the season series.