Cardiac Kings do it again with a fourth quarter, come-from-behind 122-117 win over the Pelicans

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Harry Giles III tips the ball back into the basket Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings won their second consecutive come from behind in the fourth quarter game on Sunday night as they defeated Anthony “the Brow” Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans 122-117. The Kings trailed the Pelicans by as many as 19 points in the contest, and frankly, it did not appear that the home team would have enough momentum to overcome the New Orleans lead.

The Kings had trouble putting the ball in the basket right from the beginning of the game. At one point in the first quarter, Sacramento was shooting just 25-percent from the field while New Orleans was hitting more than 50-percent of their shots. The Pels dominated the paint and were converting high percentage shots. The Kings were not taking bad shots, but their shots were not dropping.

The Kings shooting improved in the second quarter (48.1-percent) and they were able to match the Pelicans point for point. Each team scored 33 points in the second period. Buddy Hield led the scoring attack for SAC with nine points. New Orleans was paced by Jrue Holiday who hit 7-of-9 shots for 14 points.

At the half, New Orleans held a 69-58 lead over Sacramento.

The third quarter was dominated by a former Wildcat and Sooner. New Orleans center Anthony Davis scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds for his team as they scored 27 points in the period. Buddy Hield led the charge for Sacramento scoring 11 points in the third. He went for 4-for-4 shooting (3-for-3 from 3-point land). The Kings won the quarter 28-27. At the end of 36 minutes, the Pelicans held a 96-86 lead over the Kings.

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Koufos and Miller jump ball in 4th quarter Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

The Kings went on a comeback run that saw them outscore the Pelicans 36-21 in the final quarter. Sacramento was paced by De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic who each scored nine points in the period. Buddy Hield stayed hot as he recorded eight points. Willie Cauley-Stein hauled in nine of his career-high 17 rebounds in the final 12-minutes. The Kings went on a mission in the final quarter and they were not going to be denied. When the final buzzer sounded, the Kings (18-15) had defeated the Pelicans (15-19) 122-117.

Willie Cauley-Stein had a monster game

The Kings center played just over 35-minutes in his team’s victory. He scored 22 points and made it a double-double as he pulled down a career-high 17 (four offensive) rebounds. WCS shot 10-for-19 from the floor and went 2-for-4 from behind the 3-point line. The big man also made three steals in the game.





De’Aaron Fox posted a double-double

The Kings versatile point guard made it a double-double game in the win over the Pelicans on Sunday night. He scored 19 points and dished out 11 assists. Fox also added two steals. He did all of this while still nursing a sore shoulder injured in the game on Friday with Memphis.

“Buddy Buckets” was amazing again

Buddy Hield was the leading scorer in the game on Sunday. He put 28 points in the book in 36-plus minutes of playing time. Hield shot 11-for-16 from the field and hit 6-of-11 from behind the 3-point arc. He also pulled in six rebounds.

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Buddy Hield lets it fly from 3-point land Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Bogi comes up Big

Bogdan Bogdanovic is finding his legs and really getting into the flow of the game. On Sunday afternoon, he scored 24 points shooting 7-for-16 from the floor. Bogdanovic hit 2-of-5 from long range and converted 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. He also dished out seven dimes.

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Bogi sinks one from the free throw line Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Coach Joerger summarizes the game







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  • Leading scorer Jrue Holiday with 27 points, seven rebounds, and six assists
  • Anthony Davis scored 26 points pulled down 17 rebounds (double-double) plus four assists and four blocked shots
  • Julius Randle put up 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds

The Pelicans were extremely frustrated after the loss to the Kings. Giving up a 19 point lead and losing by five points will make you walk the aisle of the plane all the way back to the “Big Easy” out of frustration.

Up next

The Kings next game will be on Wednesday, December 26 at the Staples Center versus the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kings lost to the Clippers at the Golden 1 Center on November 29, 133-121.

The Pelicans next game will be in Dallas on December 26. New Orleans beat the Mavs on December 5th, 132-105.

NBA Playoffs: New Orleans will be tough in potential second round series with Golden State

Photo credit: @NBAonSP

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

The Spurs shouldn’t be returning to Oakland for a Game 5 on Tuesday.

Golden State, leading 3-0 in their first-round series against San Antonio and looking unbeatable in the first three games, now has to play one more game after dropping Game 4 with a 103-90 rout Sunday afternoon in the Alamo City.

The Warriors now lead the best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series, 3-1.

Instead of sweeping the seventh-seeded Spurs, who are dealing with a myriad of issues from the recent death of Erin Popovich, the late wife of San Antonio’s head coach Gregg Popovich, to the ongoing Kawhi Leonard saga, Golden State allowed itself to cut 48 hours off its schedule to prepare for a New Orleans Pelicans team that will give the Warriors all it can handle in the second round.

The sixth-seeded Pelicans showed no remorse against the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers in their first-round series. Many prognosticators, including myself, thought this could be a series that would go six or seven games with the Trail Blazers likely prevailing.

And why would you not pick Portland over New Orleans?

The Trail Blazers arguably have one of the NBA’s best backcourt duos in point guard Damian Lillard and shooting guard CJ McCollum to carry them over unheralded combination of  point guard Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday.

Oh yeah, and the Pelicans were without center Demarcus Cousins, who tore his Achilles tendon and was lost for the season on Jan. 26. Before the injury, Cousins was averaging 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds per game and along with power forward Anthony Davis (28 ppg and 11 rpg during the regular season), were on pace to become the first set of teammates in NBA history to average at least 25 points and 10 rebounds per game according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Boy were we wrong.

Now, The Pelicans have all of their detractors eating crow with a side of “we told you so.” Portland (49-33) did finished the regular season with one more win than New Orleans (48-34), but it were the Trail Blazers that were over-matched.

New Orleans capped off the franchise’s first sweep of an NBA playoff series with 131-123 victory in Game 4 over Portland on Saturday night in front a rabid and sold out home crowd at the Smoothie King Center. The 131 points scored by New Orleans are a franchise record for a playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

In the clinching game, it was the combination Davis and shooting guard Jrue Holiday that punched the Pelicans’ ticket into the second-round for the first time since 2008 with Davis pouring in 47 points with 11 rebounds. Holiday finished with 41 points and eight assists against the Trail Blazers who had no answer for either guy in this series.

Both Davis and Holiday surpassed current Warriors’ power forward David West’s franchise record 38 points (also occurring in 2008 according to Elias Sports Bureau) with their scoring barrage.

The 6-foot-10, 253-pound Davis imposed his will against Portland bigs, most notably against center Jusuf Nurkic, averaging 33 points and 12 rebounds in four games against the Trail Blazers this postseason. There’s no doubt that Davis will be a force against Golden State’s stable of bigs, centers Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee and Kevon Looney.

Throw in the aforementioned Rondo, a 11-year, defensive, pass-first veteran with a championship ring from 2007 as the starting point guard for the Paul Pierce-Ray Allen-Kevin Garnett Boston Celtics, the Pelicans have some pieces in place to make the inevitable second-round matchup with Golden State interesting.

Rondo, or #PlayoffRondo, is the unquestioned floor general for the Pelicans. In the four games against the Trail Blazers, Rondo recorded 17, 9, 11 and 16 assists respectively. For the series, Rondo averaged 11.2 points and 13.2 assists per game and was glued at Lillard’s hip the entire time, helping New Orleans limit Lillard to 35.2 percent shooting in the series.

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry, who also has a championship ring as an assistant coach with the Warriors in 2015 before leaving for New Orleans, knows some of the offensive and defensive tendencies of shooting guard Klay Thompson and power forward Draymond Green.

Even with two-time MVP Stephan Curry still not ready to play in the playoffs for the Warriors, Golden State is still the better team than the Pelicans by far and can win the series without him since the Warriors still have another former MVP in Kevin Durant.

In the four regular season matchups between New Orleans and Golden State, the Warriors won the first three matchups: 128-120 on Oct. 20 at New Orleans, 110-95 on Nov. 25 in Oakland and 125-115 on Dec. 4, while the Pelicans got the best of the Warriors 126-120 on Apr. 7 in Oakland.

Kings defeat the Pelicans 114-103 in NOLA to finish road trip with a 3-3 record

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.

Top Performers


  • 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.

Key Stats

Sacramento (16-34)

  • 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.

Up Next


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.

Z-Bo goes head-to-head with Boogie and leads Kings to a 116-109 OT win in NOLA

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by Charlie O. Mallonee with Jordan Chapin

The Sacramento Kings went into the game in New Orleans on Friday night as eight to 10.5-point underdogs. gave the Kings just a 15-percent chance of leaving the “Crescent City” with a win. By the end of 53-minutes of playing time in the Smoothie King Arena, everyone who picked the Pelicans to win were 100-percent wrong.

The Kings needed five extra minutes but they defeated DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans 116-109 to finish their four-game road trip with a record of 2-2. Sacramento won the games in Chicago and New Orleans. They had a realistic chance to win the games they lost in Milwaukee and Cleveland. The Kings played at a higher level on this road trip.

The Kings had to fight and claw their way through the 53-minutes of playing time to stay in this game. There were 12 lead changes and the game was tied 11 times. The Pels biggest lead was 10-points and the Kings largest lead was nine-points. This contest was a “Battle Royale” from start to finish.

Z-Bo was the star of the game for the Kings

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Randolph and Cousins battled each other all game long Friday night (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The 36-year old veteran center played like a man half his age on Friday night. Randolph was the Kings leading scorer with 35-points and he made it a double-double game by hauling in 13 rebounds. He shot 14-for-22 from the field and hit 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Randolph did all of that while dealing Cousins on defense during his almost 34-minutes of playing time.

Kings co-stars

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Buddy Hield drives the lane in NOLA
  • Buddy Hield showed the fans in New Orleans what they lost when he was shipped to SAC for Cousins. Hield posted 18-points and grabbed seven rebounds. He shot 7-for-12 for the game and 4-for-5 from behind the 3-point line. Hield sank the 3-point basket that tied the game and sent it into overtime.
  • De’Aaron Fox played over 36-minutes in the game and scored 14-points. He was teamed up with Frank Mason down the stretch and in overtime to help lead the Kings to the victory.
  • Frank Mason came off the bench to lead the second-unit again on Friday night. The rookie out of Kansas scored 12-points, grabbed five rebounds and added three assists.
  • The Kings other “O.G” – Vince Carter – played a big role for the Kings versus the Pelicans. The 40-year old veteran played 32-plus minutes and scored six-points. He also recorded four rebounds and distributed two assists.  Carter also had two dunks ( three if you count the one at the final buzzer that was waved off that could have been the potential game winner).
  • Georgios “Papa G” Papagiannis played an important nine-plus minutes off the bench. The big man was almost a surprise contributor in this game. He came in and played “Boogie” tough while scoring six-points and hauling in three rebounds. Papa G was a perfect 3-for-3 shooting in the game.

DeMarcus was the star of the game for New Orleans

There are very few observers of the NBA who do not see DeMarcus Cousins as being the premiere center in the league. On Friday night, Boogie reminded everyone in Sacramento what they lost when he was traded to the Pelicans.

Cousins dropped in a game-high 38-points and made it a double-double game by adding 11-rebounds. The big man also had four assists and three steals.

Cousins shot 14-for-30 from the field (4-for-10 from 3-point land). He converted 6-of-7 opportunities from the charity stripe.

Love him or hate him – Cousins is an awesome talent.

Other Pelicans who contributed

  • Anthony “the Brow” Davis returned to action after missing three games. Davis played 30-minutes and scored 18-points. He went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
  • Ian Clark scored 15 points in just under 28-minutes of playing time. He shot 6-for-8 from the field.
  • Jrue Holiday added 14 points. He shot 50-percent for the game hitting 6-of-12 field goal attempts.
  • Rajon Rondo – who has been “hot” for the Pels since returning from injury was held out for rest. That decision may be questioned after this disappointing loss.

Team stats that matter


  • SAC shot 48.5-percent (47-for-97) for the game and 43.3-percent (13-for-30) from behind the 3-point line.
  • The Kings out-rebounded NOLA 46-35
  • Sacramento dished out 21 assists and turned the ball over 20 times (good for 12 Pels points).
  • The Kings made 12 steals in the game.


  • New Orleans posted a 46.1-field goal percentage (41-for-89). They hit 10-of-28 3-point attempts (35.7-percent).
  • The Pelicans converted 17-of-19 free throw attempts.
  • The Pels booked 19 assists and committed 17 turnovers (became 22 Kings points).

Update from Reno

Skal Labissiere scored 29-points, grabbed 17 rebounds and added seven blocks in his start for the Big Horns this week. Look for him to be in Sacramento on Sunday.

Up next

Kings (8-17)

The Kings will return to action on Sunday versus the very talented Toronto Raptors (16-7). The game has an unusual start time as it will tip-off at 12:30 pm.

Pelicans (13-13)

New Orleans wraps up a four-game homestand on Sunday when they host the 76ers.