SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings have won two straight in dramatic fashion heading into Sunday’s matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans. They draw a team that began the season 0-8, but have played much better over the last few months.
Sacramento erased a 22-point deficit Friday evening to stun the Hawks and improve to 3-2 on their current homestand. Darren Collison, Ben McLemore and DeMarcus Cousins each scored 22 points and veteran Anthony Tolliver knocked down five 3-pointers to finish with 15 as the Kings beat a top tier Eastern Conference opponent for the third time in the last four games.
Anthony Davis posted 42 points and 13 rebounds in the Pelicans 122-106 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Jrue Holiday added 25 points and 12 assists and rookie Buddy Hield chipped in 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Kings by 3.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Anthony Davis -- While these two players are on these two teams, this will always be the matchup to watch. Cousins struggled in his first game back from suspension Friday night against Atlanta, shooting just 6-of-17 from the field while turning the ball over nine times. He still managed to score 22 points, grab 11 rebounds and dish out seven assists in the win.
Davis is starting over Cousins in the All-Star game, which sets up an interesting back story. The talented big has stayed healthy for one of the few seasons in his career and the numbers he’s posting are huge. The 23-year-old center is averaging a career best 27.9 points to go with 12.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 22-32, third place in Pacific
Pelicans: 21-33, fifth place in Southwest
Kings: PG Ty Lawson (strained adductor) questionable, G/F Garrett Temple (torn left hamstring) out until after All-Star break, F Omri Casspi (right calf strain) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.
Pelicans: G Tyreke Evans (ankle) probable, F Terrence Jones (thumb) questionable, E'Twaun Moore (personal) doubtful, Quincy Pondexter (knee) out.
The Pelicans swept the season series 4-0 last year, but the Kings took the first of three matchups this season in early November by a final of 102-94. New Orleans holds a 41-38 lead in the all-time series between these two clubs.
“I don’t know how to be myself anymore, that’s something I’ll have to figure out. Hopefully it’s for the better.” -DeMarcus Cousins on adjusting to playing with 16 technical fouls