NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 23rd
(All times Eastern)
New Orleans Pelicans (11-14) at Sacramento Kings (8-18), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Pelicans are winless on their five-game
western road trip, which concludes Monday against the Sacramento Kings.
The Pelicans dropped to 0-4 on the jaunt following Saturday's 110-107 loss at
Portland and wasted 21-point efforts from both Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans.
Davis was playing in his second game since returning from a broken hand and
also grabbed nine rebounds to go with two blocks.
Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon scored 18 points apiece and Jrue Holiday ended
with 13 points for the Pelicans, who are in the midst of playing 10 of 12
games away from home.
Anderson and Evans each missed potential game-tying 3-pointers in the closing
seconds, and New Orleans fell to 4-9 as the visitor and had a 105-103 lead
after trailing 96-86.
"It wasn't the cleanest look," said Anderson. "That last play we drew up was a
great play and I think the timing was a little bit off. I was comfortable
taking that shot and I felt like it was going in, but it didn't."
Gordon has scored in double digits 20 times in 25 games for the Pelicans
The Kings are back home for a couple games and went 1-3 on their recent road
trip along the eastern seaboard. They ended a three-game slide with Saturday's
105-100 triumph at Orlando, as Isaiah Thomas and Rudy Gay ended with 23 points
apiece. They both hit a trio of 3-pointers and Sacramento shot 52.2 percent
from long range (12-of-23).
"We made enough plays obviously to get that win," said Kings head coach
Michael Malone. "(I'm) proud of our guys to finish up a disappointing road
trip but we didn't hang our heads."
Marcus Thornton had 11 of his 15 points off the bench in the fourth quarter
and DeMarcus Cousins tallied 14 and 11 rebounds in the win. The Kings scored
23 points off 18 Orlando turnovers and have now scored 100 or more points in
nine of the last 10 games, averaging 104.0 points in that time.
Gay is enjoying his move to Sacramento and has recorded at least 20 points in
four of six games since the trade from Toronto.
For how well the Kings have played offensively lately, they're still
struggling on defense and are next to last in opponents' scoring (103.3 ppg).
Only the Philadelphia 76ers are worse at 111.7 ppg.
Sacramento will play seven of the next nine games at home and is 5-10 at Sleep
Train Arena this season.
The Kings lost two of three meetings with New Orleans last season, but are
unbeaten in the last four as the host in this series. Sacramento is 18-4 in
the previous 22 matchups between the teams in California's capital.
12/23 10:35:06 ET