by Charlie O. Mallonee
The Sacramento Kings beat the Pelicans in New Orleans for the second time this season by downing the Pels 114-103 on Tuesday night. The victory allowed the Kings to finish their six-game, 13-day road trip with a surprising 3-3 record.
For the naysayers out there, yes the Pelicans were without DeMarcus Cousins who is out for the rest of the season after rupturing his left achilles last Friday versus the Rockets. The Kings were without the services of Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, Frank Manson, Malachi Richardson and their head coach Dave Joerger.
Why did the Kings win the game?
Two sets of stats really explain why Sacramento came away with the “W” Tuesday night. The Kings out-rebounded the Pelicans 49-36 but even more important than the over all numbers is the offensive rebound count.
SAC pulled down 14 balls off the offensive glass while NOLA grabbed just two offensive rebounds. The Kings scored 26 second chance points converting 10-of-11 opportunities. The Pelicans scored zero second chance points and literally had no second opportunities in the contest. It is virtually impossible to win a game playing one shot and done basketball in “the Association”.
Rebounding made the difference in the game for Sacramento in New Orleans.
- Star of the Game honors go to Zach Randolph who scored a game-high 26 points and made it a double-double game posting 12 rebounds. Z-Bo shot 11-for-23 from the floor and hit 3-of-6 three-point attempts. The veteran big man also played very physical versus New Orleans star Anthony Davis.
- Kosta Koufos earns Special Co-Star of the Game status by starting the game and playing 37-plus minutes to post a double-double of his own. Koufos put up 17 points and recorded 17 rebounds (seven offensive rebounds). Koufos hit 7-of-12 shots from the field.
- Co-Star of the Game credit goes to De’Aaron Fox for scoring 15 points, hauling in six rebounds and dishing out four assists in 27-minutes of playing time. Fox had a +9 rating for his time on the court.
- New Orleans Star of the Game honors go to reserve shooting guard Ian Clark who played over 29-minutes scoring 20-points while hitting 9-of-10 field goal attempts. Only one of his field goals was a 3-point conversion. Clark also recorded six rebounds.
- Anthony Davis receives Co-Star credit for the game. With Boogie Cousins gone for the season, the weight of success falls squarely on the shoulders of Davis. He scored a team-high 23 points and made it a double-double by recording 13 rebounds. Davis went 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
- Jrue Holiday gets a Best Supporting Player nod for contributing 20 points but he went just 9-for-20 shooting from the floor to score those points. Holiday did not post a single rebound.
- The Kings hit 46-of-97 shots (47.4-percent) from the field for the game. They took 20 more attempts than the Pelicans and made seven more field goals than New Orleans.
- Sacramento converted 10-of-26 three-point attempts (38.5-percent) which was one more made 3-point field goal than the Pels hit in the game.
- The Kings outscored the Pelicans in the paint 52-42.
New Orleans (27-23)
- The Pelicans shot 50.6-percent from the field (39-for-77) for the game but it was 20 less attempts and seven less conversions than the Kings put in the books.
- New Orleans won the battle of Fast Break points outscoring the Kings 23-22 for the game.
- The Pels dished out more assists (26-22) than the Kings but they were not enough to turn the tide of the game.
The Kings flew home after the game and were able to sleep in their own beds for the first time in 13 days. They will be off until Friday night when they have the unenviable task of hosting the world champion Golden State Warriors at the Golden 1 Center.
New Orleans will hit the road and will play the Thunder in OKC on Friday night.