The New Orleans Pelicans entered the game on a SEGABABA following a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and started off good. The tired legs kicked in in the second but the Kings didn’t offer much fight and the Pelicans stayed in it. The Kings would have good spurts of basketball, then fall apart and that doomed them late in the fourth when the Pelicans took a double-digit lead. Sacramento attempted to climb out of the deficit and Nemanja Bjelica made a ridiculous four point play. But they blew it and allowed JJ Redick to get a layup. Ballgame.
Injury notes: Marvin Bagley (left foot) OUT. Bogdan Bogdanovic (flu) OUT. Dewayne Dedmon (CD) INACTIVE. Zion Williamson (knee) OUT.
The Pelicans got going with some early threes despite Lonzo Ball missing three of his early deep attempts. The Kings offense got off to a slow start with Nemanja Bjelica missing his first four attempts from the field. De’Aaron Fox controlled the offense and stole the ball only to be fouled by Ball and miss both free throws. Fox was 8-8 from the stripe last game, but the inconsistencies from the line are frustrating. The Pelicans then went on an 13-0 run and led 22-8. Sacramento responded with a 14-1 run including a Cory Joseph three and two Hield threes. Trevor Ariza came in and got two important steals during the run and the Kings led 26-25 to end the quarter. Hield’s 8 points and Harrison Barnes’ seven led the Kings.
Harry Giles opened up the scoring with a mid-range jumper and two free throws. The Pelicans stopped making their shots and kept turning it over, but the Kings weren’t taking advantage of that. Fox continued to miss free throws but found Richaun Holmes for a turnaround hook and later hit a three. Barnes continued to get to the line, but he missed some. New Orleans hit three straight threes to retake the lead. Just poor by the Kings. The Pelicans would lead 52-48 at the half with JJ Redick’s 16 points leading the way. Barnes had 14 points for Sacramento.
Good stuff to start the third for the Kings. Bjelica got a bucket, Buddy drew a foul and made the free throws and Fox swished a three. Buddy made a deep shot but his foot was on the line. Fox missed a good looking layup and Holmes missed a one-handed fastbreak dunk. They kept New Orleans in it. Fox continued to miss free throws, now at 4-10. The Kings forced late shot clocks and turnovers, but still failed to capitalize on offense. Barnes hit a much needed three to tie it at 71. Jrue Holiday had the hot hand after a quiet first half. Giles had a big one-handed dunk and Ariza hit a three with momentum to get the crowd going. The quarter would end 80-76 and Barnes scored 21 big points followed by Hield’s 17.
Brandon Ingram opened the fourth with a three to make it a one point game. The Kings offense started with three straight turnovers. New Orleans now had 10 straight points to lead 86-80. Joseph responded with a big three. The Kings trailed 94-85 after a bad foul on Buddy followed by a technical on him after he showed some frustration. Josh Hart missed two free throws, got the rebound and threw a lob to Lonzo Ball for the layup, who was also fouled but it wasn’t called. Barnes and Hield made back-to-back threes to stay in it. Both teams exchanged threes but the Pelicans still led with less than a minute remaining. The Pelicans led 115-111 but Bjelica banked in a three plus a foul to tie it! And then they allow Redick to win the game on a layup.
Harrison Barnes had a big time game today and was a reliable presence on both ends of the floor as well as getting fouls and converting at the line. He finished with 30 points on 9-12 shooting as well as 10-12 from the stripe, four rebounds and three assists.
Richaun Holmes was another steady force, going for 13 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks and one steal. He made timely baskets despite missing some good looks.
Buddy Hield finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Hield shot 4-7 from three but his mid-range jumpers have abandoned him lately. Hield also had seven turnovers which illustrates why he shouldn’t handle the ball.
Nemanja Bjelica struggled offensively and his only three was the ridiculous banked in three, but he finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, one assist and a steal.
De’Aaron Fox was outplayed by Lonzo Ball today, not much doubt about that in an anticipated matchup. Fox had 17 points on 5-14 shooting and 5-11 from the stripe. He added five assists, three rebounds and a steal.
The Kings were 27-36 from the line (75%). That just won’t do it.
Sacramento also turned it over 21 times.
Sacramento grabbed more rebounds at 51-44 but had less assists at 28-20.
A good note was that the Kings shot 12-21 from three (57.1%).
The Kings host the Golden State Warriors on Monday at 7:00 p.m. PST on the first game of a back-to-back.