Two Positives, Two Negatives From Kings' 14-point Loss to Nuggets

Sacramento stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday evening, but they looked like a completely different team Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets in a 126-112 loss

The final score doesn't tell the whole. Denver let off the gas and coasted home in what could have been a major blowout. Sacramento competed early, but their inability to stop runs is an issue.  

Here are two positives and two negatives from the 14-point loss on the road.


Bagley figuring it out

Part of being a rookie is making mistakes and trying to learn from them. Marvin Bagley is improving every time he steps on the floor, but maybe more importantly, he is saying the right things.

"Every chance I get to be on the court and learn, I'm taking that," Bagley told reporters in Denver on Tuesday. "I can't take it for granted. I gotta give it my all every time I step out on the floor, no matter what the score is. I love playing this game, and I think I'd be cheating myself if I didn't go as hard as I possibly could. ... That's just my mindset going into every game."

In addition to giving a the perfect answer in postgame, the 19-year-old rookie scored a career-high 20 points, grabbed a career-high nine rebounds and blocked a career-high five shots. That's a lot of career-highs. 

Sophomore challenge

The Kings are packed with young players and at times, some of them get forgotten. Justin Jackson and Frank Mason aren't garnering the same fanfare of a De'Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley or Harry Giles, but on Tuesday, they put up big numbers for Sacramento.

Jackson caught fire early, knocking down 7-of-11 from the field and 3-of-5 from deep to finish the game with 17 points, three rebounds and three assists. When he's making his shots, he tends to be more engaged in the action on both ends of the court.

Mason, a healthy scratch on Sunday, took advantage of his opportunity against Denver, posting 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 27 minutes of action. So far, the former Kansas star has put up really good numbers in limited minutes. Mason is showing he's ready to compete, he just needs his number called.

These two might not see major time every game, but when they get chances, they have to find a way to make an impact on the game.


Fox has a let down game

After tearing through his first three opponents, De'Aaron Fox struggled against the Nuggets, scoring just six points on 2-of-8 shooting with four assists. The 20-year-old point guard is adjusting to life as a team leader and main target of the opponents game plan.  

Fox is being asked to carry a huge load this season and sometimes he won't be able answer the bell. He's a smart player and should be able to make adjustments along the way, but over an 82 game schedule, every player has a few duds.   

Harry Giles is struggling

Kings fans have been waiting for a year to celebrate the arrival of rookie Harry Giles. He's healthy and seeing game action, but the 20-year-old has yet to find his footing in the league. 

First it was foul trouble and now Giles is having difficulty on both ends of the court. This is going to be a long process. Giles sat out most of his senior year in high school, played 300 minutes at Duke and then missed all of last season rehabbing his body with the Kings.

There is no substitute for game action and Giles has missed a ton of it. He has moments of brilliance that shows his potential, but he's going to need time to develop.

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