by Michael Martinez
picture credit Jacob Gonzalez
SACRAMENTO- The Kings had a great win last night in Los Angeles and things were looking up, but then the team came home. Recently, the Kings have struggled mightily at home and tonight was no different. The defense was flat out bad tonight especially in the first half.
The difference tonight was El Dorado Hills native, Ryan Anderson. Anderson’s huge second quarter change the game completely and the Kings really never had a chance thereafter.
The Oak Ridge high grad put up 21 points in the second quarter on 8-11 shooting, 3-4 from the field. The forward’s huge second quarter put the Kings down 74-53 as he made the defense look silly. Some of his shots were incredible, but nonetheless giving up 74 points was inexcusable. As a team, the Pelicans shot 83.3% in the quarter. The Kings offense slowed down in the second quarter, scoring 22 points to New Orleans’ 41. The Pelicans’ had their largest lead of the half in the second when they were up by 24 points.
Fans booed the Kings towards the end of the quarter as the Kings gave up the most points in a half all season. Maybe that sparked some fire under Sacramento’s belt out of the locker room.
Out of the break, the Kings scored 10 straight points and cut the deficit down to 11, looking for some hope. But New Orleans never let the Kings get any closer, going up by 21 points at one point in the third quarter.
The Kings continued to struggle while New Orleans kept pouring it on. The Pelicans’ largest lead of the game came in the fourth as they went up by 27 points at one point. New Orleans absolutely dominated the Kings tonight and there was really no question about if they would get the win. Although the Kings only lost the game by 15, 123-108, the Pelicans out played the Kings in every aspect.
The loss is not all that surprising with the Kings recent struggles, plus they have not been able to defeat New Orleans. This is their sixth straight loss to the Pelicans who won all four games this season. And as the Sleep Train Arena starts to see its last games, the Kings have dropped seven consecutive games on their home floor and the games really haven’t been all that close.
The Pelicans shot 54.4% from the field and an astounding 57.1% from behind the arc, knocking down 12 three-pointers.
Anthony Davis finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds, while Anderson totaled 29 points. New comer Tim Frazier scored 14 points for New Orleans and added nine assists.
Darren Collison was the Kings’ leading scorer with 23 points. DeMarcus Cousins finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for another double double. Cousins now has 26 double doubles in his last 32 games he’s played in.
The Kings once again showed struggles in playing back to back games. Heading into the contest, the team was 3-12 when playing consecutive games and now that makes it 3-13. It is difficult to play without three of the team’s guards, including Rajon Rondo, but there’s no excuse for the team’s poor effort tonight.
Sacramento is now 26-41 and will head to Detroit to take on the Pistons on Friday. With the season coming to an end, maybe it’s best for the Kings to hope for the best possible draft pick and regroup next season.