Rookie guard De’Aaron Fox scored 18 points, and the Sacramento Kings never trailed while capitalizing on 26 turnovers by the Denver Nuggets in a 106-98 victory on Saturday at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif.
Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein added 17 points and set a career high with seven steals. Sacramento scored 40 points off Denver’s turnovers and recorded a season-best 16 steals.
Cauley-Stein shot 8 of 12 from the field, and he tied an NBA season high with his steal total. Fox made 6 of 11 shots and handed out seven assists as Sacramento (13-25) ended a three-game slide despite playing without Zach Randolph (oral surgery) and George Hill (personal).
Buddy Hield added 14 while Vince Carter, Skal Labissiere and Kosta Koufos contributed 12 apiece for Sacramento. Bogdan Bodganovic scored 11.
Reserve Trey Lyles led the Nuggets (21-18) with 19 points and nine rebounds. Jamal Murray added 18 while Will Barton and Gary Harris contributed 17 apiece as Denver shot 46.1 percent.
The turnover total was Denver’s highest since the Nuggets committed 27 on Dec. 8, 2016 at Washington. Wilson Chandler, Nikola Jokic and Murray each gave the ball away five times.
Sacramento forced 10 turnovers in the opening quarter and held a two-point lead going into the second. The Kings took a five-point lead into halftime before starting to pull away in the third.
The Nuggets were within 55-53 on a layup by Harris with 7:45 remaining, but Sacramento used a 20-10 spurt over the next 5 1/2 minutes to grab a 75-63 lead on a 3-pointer by Hield. The Kings held a 79-71 edge going into the fourth after Koufos converted an open layup just before the buzzer.
The Kings took a 13-point lead on Carter’s 3-pointer early in the fourth but allowed Denver to cut it to 92-89 on a basket by Lyles with 5:22 remaining. Sacramento then took a 101-92 lead on Carter’s 3-pointer with 2:37 left moments after Bogdanovic stole the ball from Jokic for Denver’s 24th turnover.
Sacramento then iced the win on Fox’s short jumper with 83 seconds left.
—Field Level Media