Notebook: Nuggets 122, Kings 97



Posted Dec 16, 2012 9:40 PM

By James Ham, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Sacramento Kings returned home from their four game road trip just in time to get smacked down by the Denver Nuggets by the score of 122-97.

JaVale McGee put on a show, flying in for dunk after dunk. The big man finished with 19 points, five rebounds and three blocks. Danilo Gallinari added 18 points in 26 minutes, while Jordan Hamilton gave the Nuggets a solid 15 points off the bench.

The Kings were led by DeMarcus Cousins' 19-point, 11 rebound performance. Isaiah Thomas added 20 points off the bench and Jason Thompson picked up a second Kings double-double, scoring 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

QUOTABLE: "[McGee] was very active on the offensive glass and we got our favorite shot which is the dunk and the layup. We also got a lot of easy basketball plays. I think the energy was good, but the defense I think motivated us to play the right way the whole game."

-- Nuggets coach George Karl

THE STAT: The Kings shot just 34 percent for the game, while Denver shot 54 percent.

TURNING POINT: The Kings trailed by nine points after the first quarter, 18 at the half and it only got uglier after that.

HOT: Jordan Hamilton came into today's game averaging just 5.5 points per contest. In the first half of this one, he dropped 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting. The Kings had no answer for McGee. The shot-blocking specialist scored 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting. A few posters could be made from some of his dunks tonight.

NOT: John Salmons struggled to give the Kings anything this evening. The veteran wing scored four points and shot a whopping 1-for-8 from the field.

GOOD MOVE: Everything Karl tried worked well, as his team looked athletic and energized.

BAD MOVE: KIngs coach Keith Smart had no answer for the athletic Nuggets. He tried plenty of combinations, but his team played bad defense and couldn't shoot the ball.

NOTABLE: Tyreke Evans started the game, but played only 10 minutes before re-aggravating his sore left knee.

UP NEXT: For the Nuggets, Tuesday vs. Spurs, Thursday @ Portland, Saturday vs. Bobcats. For the Kings, Monday @ Phoenix, Wednesday vs. Warriors, Friday @ Clippers.