Denver At Sacramento
When: 10:30 PM
ET, Saturday, March 11, 2017
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
The Denver Nuggets delivered a solid victory that would be expected from a playoff contender and attempt to follow it up when they visit the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. Denver is looking for its fifth victory in seven games after ripping the Boston Celtics — the team with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference — 119-99 on Friday to move one game ahead of the eighth-place Portland Trail Blazers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Nuggets center Nikola Jokic returned from a two-game absence because of an illness and was again in top form as he delivered 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for his fifth straight double-double. "I was freezing, I had something in my chest, I couldn't lift my head," Jokic told reporters of his illness. "My body was weak. It was not good." Sacramento has dropped its last seven consecutive games, including Friday's 130-122 overtime loss to the Washington Wizards. The Kings have slipped five games behind the Nuggets in the playoff race and a loss on Saturday would dig a deeper hole.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), CSN California (Sacramento)
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (30-35): Jokic is averaging 18.8 points, 13 rebounds and 7.4 assists during the five-game run to raise his season double-double count to 28. He sat out Monday when the Nuggets posted a 108-96 road victory over the Kings and forward Wilson Chandler stepped up with a career-best 36 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Another good sign for Denver was forward Danilo Gallinari's 20-point outing versus Boston after he missed Wednesday's 123-113 loss to the Washington Wizards because of a bout of vertigo.
ABOUT THE KINGS (25-40): Second-year center Willie Cauley-Stein is receiving more opportunities since the recent trade of All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans and he posted 20 points and 13 rebounds against Washington for his second double-double of the season. His other double-double came against the Nuggets on Feb. 23 when he scored a career-best 29 points on 14-of-22 shooting and collected 10 rebounds. Cauley-Stein is averaging 13.4 points with five double-digit outings in eight games since the trade of Cousins.
1. The Nuggets dropped five straight games to the Kings prior to Monday's victory.
2. Sacramento G Tyreke Evans (rest) sat out Friday and is expected to play against the Nuggets — he had 26 points in Wednesday's loss to San Antonio.
3. Denver PF Kenneth Faried (back) is expected to miss his eighth consecutive game.
PREDICTION: Kings 115, Nuggets 108
Stats and Records
Sacramento Off vs
102.9 Points For
111.2 Points Against