SACRAMENTO -- The Kings have found a new recipe for success. They fall behind big early, make a run in the third quarter and then tighten the screws down the stretch.
The plan worked in Friday’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies, so why not try it again Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans?
Sacramento trailed by as many as 19 in the first half and 10 heading to the fourth.
And then the Kings put on a show.
Riding the hot shooting of Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic and lock-down defense from the rest of the team, the Kings made a shocking comeback to knock off the Pelicans by a final of 122-117.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings continued to defy the oddsmakers to move to 18-15 on the season.
Battle of the Bigs
Willie Cauley-Stein and Anthony Davis went at it all night. After giving up a couple of big rebounding games to big-name centers, Cauley-Stein didn’t back down from the challenge.
Cauley-Stein finished the game with 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting. He also added 17 rebounds, three steals and a huge block.
Davis answered with 26 points and 17 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Kings from coming away with the victory.
It wasn’t a perfect showing from Cauley-Stein, but he was fully engaged in the action from start to finish.
Buddy and Bogi
Hield and Bogdanovic spent a lot of time together over the summer and they have a tight bond. Against the Pelicans, the duo were clutch.
Hield led Sacramento with 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting. He chipped in six rebounds and made six 3-pointers on the night.
Bogdanovic added 24 points, seven assists and four rebounds. He was a calming influence for the second unit and helped get the Kings back in the game.
De’Aaron Fox stepped onto the court with a heavily taped right shoulder and it seemed to impact his perimeter shot.
With his team needing his presence on the floor, Fox continued to find ways to help his team. He played the passing lanes, pushed the tempo up and down the court and when he needed a bucket, he attacked the rim.
Fox finished the game with a 19-point, 11-assist double-double. He added two steals and his second half defense was stellar.