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Reply To: NBA • Tuesday Service Plays • 2/23/16

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Preview: Sacramento At Denver

When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

DeMarcus Cousins terrorized Denver with a huge game last Friday and looks for another stellar effort when the Sacramento Kings visit the Nuggets on Tuesday. Cousins had 37 points, 20 rebounds and four blocked shots as Sacramento overcame 22 turnovers while recording a 116-110 home victory.

Cousins, fresh off his second All-Star appearance, ranks fourth in the NBA in both scoring (27.0) and rebounding (11.3) and Denver knows it needs to slow him down in the rematch. “He dominated us and we couldn’t stop him,” Nuggets small forward Danilo Gallinari told reporters. “I guess we are going to have to do something different the next time we see them. We have to do something.” Denver suffered a 121-101 home drubbing against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, falling behind by 18 points after one quarter while losing for the third time in four games. “All I know is we all, individually, just got to look at ourselves in the mirror and just figure it out,” rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay told reporters.

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

ABOUT THE KINGS (23-31): The stellar performance against Denver marked the ninth time Cousins has posted at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in the same game, surpassing the Sacramento era record he shared with Chris Webber. Point guard Rajon Rondo torched Mudiay for 24 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and five steals in Friday’s matchup to fall one assist shy of his sixth triple-double of the campaign. Small forward Rudy Gay scored 24 points in that encounter and he is averaging 21.l points and shooting 53.8 percent from the field during victories and 16 points and 42.7 percent in defeats.

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (22-34): Denver coach Michael Malone was seething after Sunday’s loss to Boston due to his squad’s lack of defense and effort. “Our defense is still somewhere in the Caribbean,” Malone told reporters. “It was a lot more than just a lack of energy. It was a lack of fight, a lack of togetherness. … I thought we were a very selfish team, two things that I hate to see from any team, so hopefully we can find a way to straighten that out in the very near future.” One player who produced offensively was center Nikola Jokic, who had 23 points and 13 rebounds after scoring just seven total points over the previous three contests.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Kings SF Omri Casspi and SG Marco Bellinelli both missed Friday’s game due to having teeth pulled during the All-Star break.

2. Sacramento SG Ben McLemore had just two points on 1-of-7 shooting in 24 minutes against the Nuggets.

3. Denver PF Kenneth Faried (illness) was limited to 13 minutes on Sunday but isn’t expected to miss Tuesday’s game.

PREDICTION: Kings 113, Nuggets 109