The Sacramento Kings walked into Smoothie Kings Center Friday night shorthanded and DeMarcus Cousins and his New Orleans Pelicans teammates made them pay. Sacramento turned the ball over repeatedly and the Pelicans made them pay on their way to a 117-89 victory.
Playing against Sacramento for the first time in his career, the former Kings cornerstone abused Sacramento’s young frontline. Cousins finished the night with 37 points, 13 rebounds and four assists as the Pelicans improved to 33-43 on the season.
All-Star Anthony Davis took advantage of the sloppy play by Sacramento, scoring 19 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking five shots.
E'Twaun Moore got it going late to score 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Dante Cunningham hit 6-of-10 from the field for 12 points and Jordan Crawford added 12 points off the bench.
Buddy Hield played well in his return to the Big Easy. The rookie came to Sacramento in the swap for Cousins and finished the night with 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting and snared eight rebounds.
Ben McLemore continued his recent hot streak, scoring 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting. The fourth-year guard added eight rebounds and put in a few highlight reel dunks.
Rookie Skal Labissiere took an aggressive approach to playing the Pelicans All-Star frontline. He shot just 5-of-16 from the field, but still managed to score 13 points and grab eight rebounds.
Willie Cauley-Stein added 11 points and 14 rebounds in the loss. Tyreke Evans chipped in 11 points starting at the three and Georgios Papagiannis scored 11 points, grabbed three rebounds and blocked two shots.
Cousins put on a show against his former team. The big man bullied the young Kings from start to finish.
This game was over when the injury report came out. Without veterans to guard Cousins and Davis, the Kings had no chance in this game.
Ty Lawson, Anthony Tolliver and Kosta Koufos sat for scheduled rest. Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.
The Kings fly to Minnesota following the game to play the Timberwolves Saturday night as part of a back-to-back.