nbcsports.com photo: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings Sat Jan 4th at Golden One Center
By Jeremiah Salmonson
SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings finally snapped the losing streak. On Thursday, the Kings managed to beat the Memphis Grizzlies to snap the streak. Saturday night, the task at hand was the New Orleans Pelicans coming off a back to back in Los Angeles. The Kings, fresh off of a day’s rest at home, were looking to make it two in a row at home. The tip-off was set for 7 PM PST.
In the first, the Kings got off to a slow start. The Pelicans got out to a 22-8 lead with 5:18 remaining in the quarter. From there, it was all Kings. The Pelicans only added another three points as the Kings stormed back to take a 26-25 lead at the end of the first. Buddy Hield dropped eight points for the Kings in the quarter while JJ Redick led the way with eight for the Pelicans.
In the second, neither team really went on an extended run. The Kings and Pelicans traded leads and the Pelicans managed to score 27 compared to the Kings 22 in the second quarter. Buddy Hield disappeared in the second and scored no points as Harrison Barnes and De’Aaromn Fox led the way with seven points apiece. J
J Redick finished the half with 16 points and Lonzo Ball was the runner up with seven. The Kings would go into halftime down 48-52 looking to come out with better energy in the second half.
In the third, the Kings would bounce back. The Kings put up 32 points in the third over the Pelicans 24 to take an 80-76 lead into the final quarter. The Kings, who were led by Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield who finished the third with 21 and 17 points respectively.
The Pelicans were led by Jrue Holiday who had 17 points through the first three-quarters of play. The Kings would look to finish off the Pelicans in the fourth.
In the fourth, the Pelicans started to pull away. They put up good shots in the early minutes and took back the lead from the Kings. The Pelicans had pulled away to a 14 point lead with 4:04 to play. However, the Kings managed to put together good possessions to make it a game late. Aided by Buddy Hield hitting two three-pointers, the Kings were right back in it with the game 112-109 and 31.5 seconds to play.
After a few fouls by the Kings and ensuing free throws, the Kings were down four with 5.6 remaining. Nemanja Bjelica managed to hit a wild and one three-pointer to tie the game. Unfortunately for Kings fans, what happened next was not great. The Kings had a defensive breakdown on the inbound and allowed JJ Redick to get a layup to put the Pelicans up 117-115.
The Kings then just tossed in the inbound without a timeout and time expired. The Kings lost 117-115. Harrison Barnes led the Kings with 30 points as Buddy Hield was right behind him with 24. The Pelicans leading scorer was Lonzo Ball who finished with 24 points. Ultimately the Kings were done in by the 21 turnovers they committed. The Pelicans scored 29 points off of those turnovers which was the difference in the game.
In the locker room the Kings were pretty down. It’s been an upsetting last three weeks for the Kings as they look to get back on track. They hope to do that in Mondays matchup against the Warriors.
Up Next: The Kings stay home to face the Golden State Warriors on Monday evening at 7 PM PST.