Kings cap off roadie with win over Pelicans
Leaving the Big Easy with a W
Even Steven. The Kings return home after a season-long six-game road trip and they do so with a surprising 3-3 record after defeating the New Orleans Pelicans by a final of 114-103 Tuesday evening at the Smoothie King Center.
It took a team effort to beat the Pelicans. Five Kings players scored in double figures, including huge double-doubles from the starting frontcourt of Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos.
Ian Clark lit the Kings up for 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting. Anthony Davis chipped in 23 points and 13 rebounds and Jrue Holiday added 21, but it wasn’t enough to stop Sacramento from coming away with the win.
Welcome back, Zach Randolph. After struggling through January, the 36-year-old big went off for 26 points in 11-for-23 shooting and added 12 rebounds. It was just the third double-double of the month for the 17-year vet.
STANDOUT PERFORMER II
Kosta Koufos doesn’t get his due. The 7-footer brings his lunch pail to work every night. With Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere missing time, he stepped in to score 17 points and grab a career-best 17 rebounds. His defense on Davis was superb as well.
STANDOUT PERFORMER III
De’Aaron Fox continues to improve. The rookie point guard was snubbed from the Rising Stars game at All-Star weekend and is taking it out on the league. Against the Pelicans, he dropped in 15 points, six rebounds and added four assists. If his January numbers are any indication of what he might be as a player, the Kings found a good one in the 2017 NBA Draft.
With 2:25 remaining in the third quarter, the Kings held a 90-78 lead over the Pelicans. New Orleans used a 12-0 run to tie it up, but Sacramento responded with a 24-13 run to pick up their third win of the trip.
Head coach Dave Joerger missed the game after flying back to Sacramento to undergo tests following a lightheaded spell in the Kings’ loss to the Spurs on Sunday. Skal Labissiere (left shoulder strain), Willie Cauley-Stein (bone bruise right knee) and Malachi Richardson (left ankle sprain) joined Frank Mason and Harry Giles on the sidelines.
The Kings finish their six-game road and headed back to Sacramento following the game in New Orleans. They’ll return to Golden 1 Center for a rare home back-to-back set against the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks on Friday and Saturday.