Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 14th 2024

The Denver Nuggets have lost two straight games for the first time since early December, and avoiding a third straight defeat might be difficult as injuries pile up.

Denver’s starting backcourt is hurting and might not be available when the Nuggets host the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

Jamal Murray (bilateral tibia inflammation) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (right hamstring) left Monday’s loss at Milwaukee and are questionable for the matchup with the Kings.

“Yes, we want to win games,” Denver coach Michael Malone said, “but Jamal and KCP are integral to our success. So we’re trying to have a big picture with that.”

Wednesday night will be the teams’ last game before the All-Star break, so a victory would give the Nuggets some momentum entering the break. A win also would enable Denver to avenge one of the two losses during its current skid.

The Nuggets were run off the court in Sacramento on Friday night, losing by 29, and three nights later lost to the Milwaukee Bucks by 17.

The multiple blowout losses are concerning for the reigning champions, but it isn’t unusual during a long season. Denver doesn’t want to spiral into a long losing streak amid a tight race for the top seed in the Western Conference.

“When you lose by 30 points two times in a row, you need to correct a bunch of stuff,” frustrated star center Nikola Jokic said. “… Just the focus on defense. Don’t give them open looks. And don’t turn the ball over. That’s a must.”

Wednesday will mark the third of four games between the two teams this season, with the Kings winning the first two. Those contests were in Sacramento, and the next two will be on the Nuggets’ home court.

While Denver is dealing with injuries, the Kings will play the second game of a back-to-back set against marquee teams in the West. Sacramento dropped a close contest in Phoenix on Tuesday night, 130-125, despite getting big games from De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

Fox scored 40 and Sabonis continued his strong season with 35 points, 18 rebounds and 12 assists, his third straight game with a triple-double.

With Sabonis playing as well as he has, Wednesday’s game will feature two of the best passing big men in the NBA. Sabonis has a league-best 18 triple-doubles this season, and right behind him is Jokic, who has 15. Sabonis broke a tie with Jokic last Friday and has continued to play at a high level.

Facing Jokic, a two-time MVP and the NBA Finals MVP last season, helps Sabonis focus more.

“Going against the best is always more exciting, more fun,” Sabonis said. “You always want to challenge yourself as a competitor. As a competitor you always want to go against the best.”

Wednesday might be even tougher for Sacramento, with the game tipping off less than 21 hours after the contest against the Suns ended. But Denver has played a tiring eight back-to-back sets this season and lost to Sacramento last week after winning at the Los Angeles Lakers the night before.

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping