Kings blown out at home by Nuggets

miller_andre_brooks_aaron_kings_nuggets.jpg

Kings blown out at home by Nuggets

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Reserve JaVale McGee scored 19 points, Danilo Gallinari had 18 and the Denver Nuggets built a big lead in the first half and cruised past the Sacramento Kings 122-97 Sunday.

The Nuggets scored 16 straight points to break away from a tie in the first quarter, and led by a comfortable margin the rest of the way.

Denver has won seven in a row against the Kings. Sacramento has lost four in a row overall.

Sacramento's Aaron Brooks committed a hard foul against Andre Miller late in the first quarter and a mild altercation ensued involving DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings and Kenneth Faried of the Nuggets. All four players were given technical fouls.

It was an lopsided victory for the road-tested Nuggets, who have opened the season playing 18 of their first 25 games away from Denver. Ahead by 18 points at the half, the Nuggets came out and produced a solid third quarter, outscoring the Kings 33-21 to take a 97-67 lead heading into the fourth.

Reserve Jordan Hamilton had a season-high 15 points and Kosta Koufos had 12 points for the Nuggets, who are 7-11 on the road this season. Andre Iguodala had 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Ty Lawson added 11 points and seven assists.

Isaiah Thomas had 20 points and Cousins had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings. Jason Thompson added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Starting Kings guard Tyreke Evans played the first 10 minutes, then left the game for good with a sore left knee. He missed five of the previous eight games because of his injured knee. Against the Nuggets, he missed all four shots.

The Kings were without Marcus Thornton for a third straight game. Their leading scorer off bench, Thornton left the team to be with his sick mother in Louisiana.

NOTES: The technical against Cousins was his seventh of the season. He was suspended by the NBA for one game last week for striking O.J. Mayo of Dallas in the groin. ... Kings coach Keith Smart was given a technical early in the third quarter. ... Koufos shot an airball on a free throw in the second quarter and was jeered by the crowd. He missed his second attempt as well when the shot barely hit the rim.

NBA Gameday: Kings visit Chicago in battle of back-to-backs

NBA Gameday: Kings visit Chicago in battle of back-to-backs

After dropping their fourth straight game Friday night in Memphis, the Sacramento Kings are now just 2-9 over their previous 11 games. They draw the Chicago Bulls on Saturday evening that also lost the night before and have been struggling of late. It’s a battle of the back-to-backs at the United Center.

Sacramento is adjusting to life without second leading scorer Rudy Gay, who is out for the remainder of the season with a ruptured Achilles. Arron Afflalo started in Gay’s place against Memphis and scored just five points and grabbed two rebounds in 25 minutes of action. The Kings need someone to step forward at the small forward position or this eight game road trip is going to get ugly.

Chicago has been a Jekyll and Hyde team all season long. They have plenty of talent, but they can’t seem to find a way to put it all together. They currently sit in the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but they are 2-5 over their last seven contests.

LINE

Bulls by 5.5

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 16-26, third place in Pacific

Bulls: 21-23, third place in Central

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Garrett Temple vs. Dwyane Wade -- Temple has been a nice addition for Sacramento, playing minutes at the one, two and three this season for coach Dave Joerger. Temple started at the shooting guard spot against the Grizzlies on Friday night and will likely do the same on Saturday against Wade and the Bulls. Wade isn’t the same player he once was, but the 12-time All-Star can still score in bunches and give the Bulls a much needed second option alongside Jimmy Butler.  

INJURY REPORT

Kings: SF Rudy (left Achilles tendon) out for the season, SF Omri Casspi (calf strain) out.

Bulls: No injuries to report.

SERIES HISTORY

The Bulls swept the season-series 2-0 last year, including a 109-102 win over Sacramento on March 21. Chicago holds an 80-75 advantage over the Kings all-time and a 33-28 lead during the Sacramento-era.

Kings' offense struggles, losing streak now at four after loss in Memphis

kings-instant-replay-grizzlies.jpg
USATSI

Kings' offense struggles, losing streak now at four after loss in Memphis

BOX SCORE

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Marc Gasol had 28 points and nine rebounds, Mike Conley added 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and the Memphis Grizzlies coasted to a 107-91 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

The Grizzlies used the 3-point shooting of Gasol and Zach Randolph to build the advantage to 19 at the end of the third quarter. At that point, Sacramento coach Dave Joerger sat his starters as Memphis eventually would build the advantage to 22 in the fourth.

Randolph finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Tony Allen also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Sacramento has lost seven of its last eight.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Garrett Temple added 14 points and Ty Lawson had 13.

Memphis finished 11 of 28 from 3-point range, with Gasol hitting 3 of 6, and Randolph going 2 of 3.

Meanwhile, the Kings struggled with 41 percent shooting overall, and 6 of 29 from outside the arc.

Gasol had 16 points in the third, including a trio of 3-pointers. Randolph's 35-footer for another 3-pointer as the quarter ended capped a 12-2 run, providing the Grizzlies with an 83-64 lead entering the fourth.

The fight was out of the Kings at that point as Joerger relied on the bench to close the game.

As has been the case in recent games, Memphis got off to a slow start, missing its first five shots and shooting 30 percent in the first quarter. That helped the Kings to a nine-point lead.

Memphis would recover in the second quarter behind a rebounding edge and points off seven Sacramento turnovers. The Grizzlies would match the Kings' nine-point lead in the half before carrying a 49-42 lead into the break. Gasol and Vince Carter had 11 apiece for Memphis, while Cousins had 16 points before intermission.

The second-quarter performance, coupled with Gasol's scoring in the third, provided Memphis with a 68-41 advantage spanning the middle two quarters.

TIP-INS

Kings: Sacramento played its first game without starting F Rudy Gay, the team's second-leading scorer at 18.7 points a game, who sustained a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in Wednesday's loss to Houston. .Cousins received a technical foul near the end of the first half, his 14th of the season. .Cousins recorded his 21st double-double of the season.

Grizzlies: Reserve G Troy Daniels left the game in the second quarter with a right knee injury and did not return. . Memphis had 11 3-pointers. The Grizzlies have made at least 10 3-pointers in 21 games this season, including 12 of the last 16.

LONG AND WINDING ROAD:

Friday's game in Memphis was the start of an eight-game road trip for Sacramento. Next stop on the journey: Chicago to face the Bulls on Saturday. This marks the second time in three years the Kings have had an eight-game trip. "You just kind of go on tour," Joerger said. "Play some games and go to the next place and play a game and 'where do I sleep tonight' and 'what hotel room number have I got.'"

UP NEXT

Kings: Continue their eight-game road trip facing the Bulls in Chicago.

Grizzlies: Memphis continues a three-game homestand with a Saturday game against the Houston Rockets — a rare back-to-back of home games. Memphis last played consecutive games at home in April, 2015.