Some teams have a spark off of the bench, but last night Richaun Holmes was an outright power surge for Sacramento.
Holmes turned in his strongest performance of the young season on Monday and also one of his best showings of his career. No. 22 entered Monday’s contest against the Denver Nuggets and breathed life into a Kings team that has struggled so far in 2019-20.
He racked up 24 points - one shy of tying his career mark - and pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds while coming off of the bench for Sacramento.
Despite the stellar game from Richaun, Sactown came up short of securing its first victory - falling to Denver by a score of 101-94.
However, Sacramento did its part in encouraging the team throughout the closely-contested matchup, even raining down “M-V-P” chants for Holmes while he was at the free throw line.
“The beautiful thing about to me was that he wasn’t trying to be selfish or he wasn’t out there getting all those points on his own, it was our team making the correct basketball play and attacking the way Denver was defending us,” said head coach Luke Walton following the game.
“We came in and I felt like we played well,” said Holmes. “Trevor [Ariza] made some shots, and I was able to get a couple of passes, get a couple of finishes in the lane.”
“A couple of finishes” was certainly a modest description of some of the most thunderous dunks that the Association has seen this season.
Aside from his efforts on the offensive end, the Bowling Green product played a large role in limiting the effectiveness of Denver’s Nikola Jokic - who has proven himself to be an MVP-caliber big men in the League.
Jokic finished the night with just nine points while shooting just 4-for-15 from the field.
“It’s a challenge. We all know how great of a player Jokic is and how great he’s been since he’s come into this league, so it’s a challenge that I look forward to,” said No. 22. “This is the NBA, I look forward every night to playing against the best and proving myself so I enjoy those type of matchups.”
Richaun’s play has been an encouraging part of a bumpy start to the year in Sacramento. His energy and effort have been constants for a squad that is seeking to find its rhythm and its way into the win column.
The Kings will have another crack at picking up a W when they take on the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night at home.