SACRAMENTO -- The Kings’ defensive issues aren’t going to get fixed overnight. That means that they have no choice but to try to outscore their opponents each and every game.
De’Aaron Fox got the memo, but it wasn’t enough. Despite a career game from the Kings’ star point guard, Sacramento couldn’t stop the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday and dropped its third straight game, this time by a final of 128-123.
Zion Williamson bullied his way to 31 points for New Orleans and Brandon Ingram added 22 points in a game that went all the way down to the wire.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings battled, but came up short to fall to 5-9 on the season.
As one of the big voices in the Kings’ locker room, Fox is trying to snap the team out of a rough patch. With his team needing a boost, he did just about everything in his power to keep his team in the game and lead by example.
Fox did a little of everything. He attacked the rim, hit from the mid-range, threw in a couple of 3-pointers and even shot 6-for-8 from the stripe on his way to a career-best 43 points.
Not only did Fox score in bunches, but he chipped in a season-high 13 assists and added four rebounds and four steals.
Shake it off
Last season Marvin Bagley III’s longest consecutive games played streak was eight. He came into Sunday questionable to play against the Pelicans with a sore wrist, which put his 13-game streak on the line. Bagley not only suited up, but he posted his best game of the season.
Bagley still needs a lot of work on the defensive end, but he was active and aggressive in his 36 minutes of play. He notched his fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 26 points on 11-for-19 shooting to go with 10 rebounds.
The Kings had a vision of Fox and Bagley running the break together. On Sunday, the tandem broke free on multiple occasions.
Zion Williamson is one of the most unique players in the NBA. He looks out of shape, that is until he jumps over the top of a player and hammers down a dunk.
The second-year big man ran over or ran through one Kings defender after another on his way to 31 points on 13-for-15 shooting.
At this rate, he'll continue to bulldoze his way to big numbers every game.