The New Orleans Pelicans were without Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Julius Randle, Stanley Johnson, Frank Jackson, etc. The list grows. The Kings had a big chance at hitting 40 wins on the season in their home finale and it would’ve been a perfect way to capture 40 wins.
They were up by double-digits for much of the first half, then squandered the lead and trailed by 16 only to tie things up at the end of the third. Then they trailed by nine points and eventually took a 123-121 lead late in the game, only to allow another 9-0 run and trailed 130-121. They made the game 132-129 but ran out of air and fell 133-129.
Give credit to the Pelicans for finding a way to win despite being out so many players. They win the season series 3-1 over the Kings.
The first quarter was full of energy and pace from both teams as everyone was running back and forth after made baskets. The Kings were able to get some steals and continued going right at the Pelicans in a 9-0 run that gave them a 25-18 lead mid-quarter. Ian Clark was a huge factor for the Pelicans early on, scoring 12 points on 4-5 shooting to start, but missed two shots later on. Nemanja Bjelica had 12 points on 5-5 shooting in seven minutes. De’Aaron Fox had 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Marvin Bagley came off the bench and grabbed seven rebounds in six minutes. Harrison Barnes scored nine points but Buddy Hield was 0-4 from three for two points. Sacramento had 14 fast break points in the quarter alone and held a 39-32 lead to end the first.
The Kings were up by around 10 for the majority of the second quarter but a late 12-2 run by the Pelicans brought them to a 61-57 deficit. A Kenrich Williams three with 1.2 seconds remaining made the score 68-66 in favor of the Kings. New Orleans outscored the Kings 34-29 in that quarter and a big reason why was Clark again. He finished the half with 21 points on 7-13 shooting and 5-9 from three. The Kings were led by Bjelica’s 15 points on 6-7 shooting. Fox had 14 points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals. Barnes had 11 points and Marvin Bagley had 10 points and nine rebounds on 4-10 shooting along with a block. Hield was 0-5 from three but had six points on 3-3 shooting inside the perimeter and Bogdan Bogdanovic was 1-5 overall for two points. The Kings were a poor 5-17 from three (29%) while the Pelicans were 11-26 (42%).
This third quarter was one of the craziest up and down quarters in recent memory. The Kings went on a scoring drought to open up, leading to Christian Wood of the Pelicans to go on a 8-0 run of his own. The Pelicans couldn’t stop missing and the Kings couldn’t start making. They were without energy and saw the lead become 96-80. Then a Marvin Bagley three kicked things off for the Kings. They stormed back with a 19-4 run of their own in three and a half minutes to make the game 100-99 after a Barnes fast break dunk. Then a Bogi three tied things up at 102 each. Yogi Ferrell had a chance to take the lead at the buzzer but missed the three. Clark led the Pelicans with 28 points followed by Jahlil Okafor’s 23 points on 10-13 shooting. Fox had 22 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals. Barnes add 20 points on 7-14 shooting. Bagley had 17 points and over 10 rebounds.
The Pelicans opened the quarter on a 9-0 run but the Kings answered with a 11-0 run and eventually took a 117-115 lead. Both teams went back and forth again from there until the Pelicans took a 128-123 lead with 1:18 remaining. The Kings hit two three pointers and made the game 132-129, but a deep three by Bogi was airballed which would’ve tied the game. Kings lose 133-129 after Elfrid Payton hit a free throw following Bogi’s miss.
De’Aaron Fox had a solid all-around game with 24 points on 10-18 shooting, 11 assists, six rebounds, three steals and a block, but the performance will be overshadowed by the loss.
Harrison Barnes dropped 29 points on 10-18 shooting as well including going 4-7 from deep along with four rebounds, one assist and one block.
Marvin Bagley scored 19 points on 8-18 shooting, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked a shot in 32 minutes off the bench.
Bogdan Bogdanovic finished the game with 16 points as he shot 4-9 from deep along with five rebounds, one assist and two steals.
Nemanja Bjelica finished with 15 points on 6-8 shooting and two assists. No rebounds surprisingly for him.
Buddy Hield was just 2-10 from three for a total of 12 points. He also added six assists, five rebounds and a steal. The Kings really needed Hield to be on top of his game in the shooting department but rough nights happen every once in a while.
Willie Cauley-Stein had nine points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block in 19 minutes.
The Pelicans shot 52-101 (52%) overall and 19-42 from three (45%). Hard to win if you allow those numbers regardless of the opponent.
The Kings were out-rebounded 55-47 and out-assisted 28-27.
The Kings only had six turnovers to 16 for the Pelicans. They only scored 19 off of them though.
Sacramento easily won the fast break battle 29-14.
The 2018-19 season comes to a close in Portland as the Kings have one last chance to win 40 games. Tip off against the Trail Blazers will be on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. (PST). See you next season, Golden 1 Center.