Pelicans fall to 12th in the West after bowing to Kings.

.After the Pelicans were defeated by the Sacramento Kings in a crucial Western Conference game, New Orleans is now 11-23 on the road.

The New Orleans Pelicans (31-34) were defeated 123-108 on the road by the Sacramento Kings (38-26) at the Golden 1 Center by a slow third quarter.

Since the teams have split the series so far, the loss hurt the Pelicans’ slim postseason hopes.

De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento’s leading scorer, was out because of a hamstring strain. Despite being 26th in defensive efficiency, the Kings are the best team in the NBA in terms of scoring. The game began as a back-and-forth affair before being tied at halftime, and New Orleans took advantage of the latter early on.

The Pelicans took a 32-25 lead in the first quarter thanks to an 18-7 run. With six points in the first quarter, Trey Murphy III led the Pels and gave New Orleans a 32-29 lead.

Before Pelicans coach Willie Green called a timeout, Sacramento went on a quick 8-0 run to demonstrate their offensive prowess in the second quarter. With crisp ball movement in the first half, New Orleans’ offense settled down. On 23 made shots, the Pelicans gave out 18 assists in the first half. With 24 points and seven assists, New Orleans was led by Brandon Ingram. In his first 24 minutes back from a calf injury, Jonas Valanciunas scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds. At halftime, the score was even at 59.

Monday night was no exception, as New Orleans has lost four of the last five third quarters. The Kings outscored New Orleans 38-20, and the Pels quickly lost the quarter and game. As a result of four Pelicans turnovers and Sacramento’s blistering outside shooting, Sacramento scored ten points in the period. The Kings went on a 10-0 run at the end and never looked back.

On this road trip, New Orleans has lost two of three games and is returning home. CJ McCollum had a particularly bad night, scoring 14 points on 6/14 shooting, and the Pelicans bench only scored 21 points.

Kevin Huerter, a Kings sharpshooter, scored the most points with 25. Domantas Sabonis, an All-Star, had 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists for a triple-double. From the three-point line, Sacramento shot +15 and was +6 in the paint.

In 15 consecutive games, New Orleans has lost to teams with winning records. More importantly, the Pelicans fall to 12th place in the standings of the Western Conference, three games behind the 5th seed.

On Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks will play host to the New Orleans Pelicans. Mar. 8 at Smoothie King Center, at 6:30 p.m. CT.


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