SACRAMENTO KINGS

Mike Brown points to turnovers, Pelicans bench as reasons for loss

Apr 19, 2024, 9:28 PM | Updated: Apr 20, 2024, 8:47 am

Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts after a shot against the Sacramento Kings ...

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 19: Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts after a shot against the Sacramento Kings at Smoothie King Center on April 19, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Brandon Ingram recorded 24 points, six rebounds and six assists and the New Orleans Pelicans clinched the Western Conference’s final playoff berth with a solid 105-98 victory over the visiting Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

“We knew how important today was, knew where we wanted to be, we knew where we belong,” Ingram said. “It’s been two years since we’ve been in the playoffs, and now we get another chance to go out there and continue to fight.”

But it was the New Orleans bench that stepped up. Larry Nance Jr. (13 points), Naji Marshall (11) and Jose Alvarado (10) contributed off the bench for the Pelicans, who will face the top-seeded Thunder in the first round of the postseason. That series opens Sunday in Oklahoma City.

In comparison, the Kings’ bench only produced 12 points and 10 of those points came from Davion Mitchell.

New Orleans went 6-0 against the Kings this season, counting the play-in victory.

Sacramento Kings coach Mike Brown gave their bench praise after the game.

“You have to give their bench credit. Nance, Marshall and Alvarado scored 34 points. That’s a great night for them, a tough night for us.”

Brown added that the turnovers also caught up to them. De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis had nine between the two of them. The team had 15 total.

“We went through a stretch in the second quarter where we had I don’t know three, four, or five turnovers, if not more, that really cost us and one of the things we said against these guys is you can’t play in a crowd and [we] played in the crowd and you know that was the one quarter they won. When you turn the ball over against these guys, they’re so good to get out and transition and making you pay that you know it’s hard to play catchup when that happens,” Brown said.

De’Aaron Fox had 35 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Kings. Domantas Sabonis finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and three steals, Harrison Barnes scored 17 points and Keegan Murray had 11 for Sacramento, which will miss the playoffs for the 17th time in the past 18 seasons.

“There’s something to build off of still,” Fox said. “The West isn’t getting any easier so obviously it’s a disappointment to not get into the playoffs and be one of those eight teams.”

NBA Offseason Schedule

  • Sunday, May 12 – NBA Draft Lottery
  • Wednesday, June 26-Thursday, June 27th – 2024 NBA Draft
  • Sunday, June 30th – Free Agent negotiating window opens (3 PM PST)
  • Saturday, July 6th – Free Agents can officially sign contracts
  • July 12-22nd – Las Vegas Summer League
  • July 27-August 11th – 2024 Olympic Games
  • Friday, September 27th – NBA training camps begin

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