Injuries overshadow Kings' loss to red-hot Pelicans
RALLY FALLS SHORT
SACRAMENTO -- Victim No. 10. The Sacramento Kings ran into one of the hottest teams in the league Wednesday evening at Golden 1 Center and got burned. The New Orleans Pelicans picked up their tenth straight win, knocking off the Kings by a final of 114-101.
With Anthony Davis in the locker room for much of the second half, the Pelicans turned to Nikola Mirotic and Jrue Holiday. The duo put up big numbers to help New Orleans improved to 38-26 on the season.
Buddy Hield dropped in a team-high 20 points for Sacramento. Zach Randolph chipping in 19 and Frank Mason added 16 points and six assists, but it wasn’t enough. Rookie De'Aaron Fox left after just five minutes due to a lower back strain.
STANDOUT PERFORMER I
Mirotic was a heck of a pickup. The Pelicans made the move to acquire the stretch four at the deadline and he adds a new dimension to their team. Mirotic scored 13 of his 26 points in the first half as New Orleans pulled away. He shot and impressive 10-for-12 from the field and added 10 rebounds in the lopsided win.
STANDOUT PERFORMER II
Davis was rolling and then he rolled his ankle. The All-Star big was punishing the Kings in the third quarter before coming down with his left foot on the foot of Kosta Koufos. He went to the locker room early, finishing the evening with 17 points, five rebounds and five blocks in just 23 minutes of action.
STANDOUT PERFORMER III
Justin Jackson found his range. The rookie wing has struggled with his perimeter shot since returning from the All-Star break, but against the Pelicans, he looked confident, shooting 5-for-9 from the floor for 14 points.
Sacramento came out flat in the first quarter and the Pelicans jumped on them early. The Kings were down by double-digits almost the entire game.
De’Aaron Fox left the game in the early first quarter with back stiffness and did not return. Willie Cauley-Stein missed his third straight game due to a lower back strain. Iman Shumpert continues to miss games due to plantar fasciitis and Harry Giles (knee rehab) is out for the season.
The Kings finish their five-game homestand against the Orlando Magic on Friday before hitting the road for a back-to-back set in Denver and OKC on Sunday and Monday.