The last time the Sacramento Kings defeated the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center was April 5, 2008. It took almost six years and 30-point performances from Isaiah Thomas and Rudy Gay to finally break the drought, as the Kings beat the Nuggets 109-95 on the road Sunday night.
Outscoring the Nuggets 39-18 in the third quarter after falling behind by five points at halftime certainly helped the cause. Thomas and Gay combined for 27 points in the third quarter, shooting an almost-perfect 8-of-9 from the field.
"The third quarter kind of dictated the game," said Thomas, who finished with 33 points. "We were getting stops and we got out and ran. That's when we're at our best, when we're in transition. We were in attack mode. Rudy (Gay) started it off, DeMarcus (Cousins) got easy buckets and I just got what they gave me. I was making open shots. We played a helluva third quarter."
That third-quarter drive included a 21-2 run that gave the Kings a 12-point advantage with about five minutes remaining. The Kings built up the lead to 17 heading into the final frame, and the Nuggets were unable to mount a comeback following that impressive third quarter.
Despite being a key engineer of that third-quarter blitz, Gay was a bit more critical of his team’s performance. Nonetheless, it was still worthy of some praise.
"I wouldn't say it was the best quarter we put together all year but it was pretty good," said Gay, who tallied 32 points.
Every artist is his or her own worst critic.