National Basketball Association
Preview
Sacramento at Denver
When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

The Denver Nuggets are off to their best start in nine years and look to post a fourth straight win when they host the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. The Nuggets defeated the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in their last outing to record their best opening stretch since winning their first five in the 2009-10 campaign.

Denver held each of its first three opponents under 100 points and is allowing 95.7, a figure that highly pleases coach Michael Malone. "The thing that stands out to me is keeping three straight opponents under 100 points - means our guys care about it, they are committed to it, and the multiple effort is there," Malone told reporters. "... If we continue to defend at the level we're defending at and we get our offensive rhythm going, I think we could be a really good team." Sacramento has averaged 130 points while splitting the first two contests of a three-game road trip, and is coming off a 131-120 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. Guard Iman Shumpert scored 26 points as one of seven Kings to score in double digits.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBCS California (Sacramento), Altitude (Denver)

ABOUT THE KINGS (1-2): Shumpert's high-scoring effort was a welcome sign as the former Cleveland Cavaliers' starter is now healthy from the foot injury that limited him to 14 games with the Cavs before the February trade to the Kings. "Being able to play that preseason game, that was a different type of happiness for me after sitting out a year," Shumpert told reporters. "I joke around about it a lot, but I'm serious as a heart attack when I say it: I don't wish that on anybody, not being able to play." Point guard De'Aaron Fox is playing well with averages of 20.3 points and 7.7 assists after contributing 22 points and 10 assists against Oklahoma City.

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (3-0): Denver was dealt a blow when it learned Monday that explosive small forward Will Barton will require hip surgery and miss approximately five to six weeks. Barton was injured on Saturday against the Phoenix Suns when he felt a pop while driving to the basket and was eventually carted off before undergoing an MRI exam on Sunday. Barton, who averaged 15.7 points last season, had won a starting position in training camp and the expectation was that he might become a 20-point scorer with the increase in minutes.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Nuggets went 3-1 against the Kings last season.

2. Sacramento rookie F Marvin Bagley III is averaging 16 points and 7.5 rebounds over the past two games.

3. Denver PG Jamal Murray (leg) suffered through a 0-of-9 shooting night against Golden State but is expected to play Tuesday.

PREDICTION: Nuggets 105, Kings 98
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Sacramento 1-2 W1 0-1 1-1 0-0 1-2 0-0 1-2
Denver 3-0 W4 2-0 1-0 0-0 3-0 0-0 3-0
Last Meeting
Sacramento Denver
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/11/18 SAC 104 DEN 130 104 38 42.9 130 51 56.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Sacramento B. Hield 18 53.3 0
Denver G. Harris 21 56.2 1
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Sacramento K. Koufos 10 1 9
Denver N. Jokic 11 0 11
Assists Player  
Sacramento D. Fox 9
Denver N. Jokic 10
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Sacramento W. Cauley-Stein 114 59.3 18
Denver N. Jokic 132 60.3 41
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Sacramento M. Bagley III 55 23 32
Denver P. Millsap 50 13 37
Assists Player  
Sacramento D. Fox 40
Denver N. Jokic 37
Quickchart Matchup
Sacramento Sacramento Off vs  Denver Denver Defense
Sacramento Off vs Denver - Points For 125.7 Points For
Sacramento Off vs Denver - Points Against 95.7 Points Against
Sacramento - FG% 52.8 FG%
Denver - FG% 41.0 FG%
Sacramento - Reb 40.7 Reb
Denver - Reb 42.3 Reb
Denver Denver Off vs  Sacramento Sacramento Defense
Denver Off vs Sacramento - Points For 108.7 Points For
Denver Off vs Sacramento - Points Against 130.7 Points Against
Denver - FG% 43.0 FG%
Sacramento - FG% 51.4 FG%
Denver - Reb 52.3 Reb
Sacramento - Reb 49.0 Reb