The Kings have lost their last six outings by an average of 12.3 points and have fallen further back in the Western Conference standings. Sacramento is coming off a loss to the NBA-leading Utah Jazz on Saturday.
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
When: Monday, April 12 at 6 p.m. PT
How to watch/listen: NBC Sports California, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
Opposing perspective: The Bird Writes
Projected Starting Lineups
Kings (22-31): De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Moe Harkless, Richaun Holmes
Pelicans (23-29): Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Steven Adams, Naji Marshall
Kings: Marvin Bagley III (hand) — OUT
Pelicans: Lonzo Ball (hip) — QUESTIONABLE; Nickeil Alexander-Walker (ankle), Josh Hart (thumb) — OUT
Head coach Luke Walton has tinkered with the starting lineup but hasn’t found the right combination. Trade deadline acquisition Moe Harkless has started the last two games, but it hasn’t led to a win.
The Kings did a lot of good things in the first half of their loss in Utah. Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes helped keep the team in it, but Sacramento was dominated in the second half. The Kings were outscored by 23 points over the final two quarters and gave up a 24-12 run to the Jazz to end the game.
After turning things around during a 7-1 stretch in March, Sacramento’s defense has faltered this month. The Kings are surrendering 120.2 points per game during the losing streak and need to tighten things up on their own end if they want to make a run at a play-in position. Walton will need to game plan to slow down Williamson and Ingram, who lead New Orleans in scoring this season.
The Pelicans are coming off a win over the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday and lead Sacramento by two games in the standings.
This will be the third meeting of the season between the two teams. New Orleans beat the Kings 128-103 on Jan. 17, while Sacramento got a 118-109 win over the Pelicans on Feb. 1.
Remember, we’re doing a special live chat for tomorrow’s game instead of the usual game thread. Make sure to tune in to Sactown Royalty shortly before game time to take part!