Pelicans snap Sacramento Kings’ six-game winning streak

Nov 20, 2023, 7:33 PM | Updated: 7:37 pm

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 20: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings shoots over Jonas Val...

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

There won’t be any excuses coming out of the Sacramento Kings’ locker room, but you could tell that the ‘Beam Team’ was out of sorts on Monday night.

On the second night of a back-to-back and in the middle of a two-week, six-game road trip, Sacramento looked like they had tired legs as the New Orleans Pelicans completely ran them out of the gym.

Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson made life miserable for the Kings during a 129-93 win at Smoothie King Center in the first game of a two-game set between these Western Conference counterparts.

With the loss, the Kings (8-5) saw their six-game winning streak end on a night where two more players (Keegan Murray and Chris Duarte) were forced to exit due to injury.

Kings vs. Pelicans Takeaways

No Answer For Ingram & Zion

Entering Monday night’s game, it wasn’t a secret that Zion Williamson would be the player to watch for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The talented but often injured forward hadn’t faced the Kings in nearly three years (April 14, 2021), but Williamson picked up right where he left off that last time he met Sacramento’s defense.

Williamson paced New Orleans’ huge second quarter as the two-time All-Star scored 18 of his 22 first-half points while the Kings struggled to find an answer in slowing the 6’6, 284-pound juggernaut.

Sacramento’s offense ran cold in the second, while Williamson and the Pelicans took a 66-53 lead into the halftime break.

In the second half, it was Brandon Ingram’s turn to pick apart the Kings’ defense.

Ingram scored 18 points during the second quarter–outscoring Sacramento’s entire team 18-16 in the period–as New Orleans put the game away before play even reached the fourth.

With Williamson attacking the paint and Ingram torching the Kings from the perimeter, a win wasn’t in the cards for the Kings on Monday night.

Led by Ingram’s 31 points on a perfect five-of-five from beyond the three-point arc and Williamson’s 26 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field, the Pelicans were set up for victory behind its two stars.

New Orleans finished the night with 129 points–two shy of tying its season-high–while shooting 54 percent from the field and finishing 12-of-28 (43%) from beyond the arc.

Williamson led the attack in the paint as the Pelicans outscored Sacramento 64-40 in the paint to go along with a season-high 38 assists.

Interestingly enough, the Kings lost just one game by 30+ points last season, and it happened to be a 136-104 loss to the Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on February 5th. A little over nine months later, history repeated itself on Monday night.

Offense Falls Flat

During their six-game winning streak, Sacramento scored 123.5 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 38 percent from three-point range.

Unfortunately for the Kings, that team was nowhere to be found on Monday night.

With Domantas Sabonis battling foul trouble, New Orleans throwing double-teams at De’Aaron Fox, and shooters struggling from beyond the arc, it was a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances for Sacramento.

The Kings finished the night with 93 points–their lowest-scoring game since November 4th when they scored 89 against Houston–while shooting 37 percent from the field and a season-worst 11-of-45 (24%) from three-point land.

You aren’t going to win many games on an offensive performance like Sacramento’s in New Orleans, and the Kings will hope that Tuesday’s off-day can get some energy back in their legs before facing off against the Pelicans on Wednesday.

Injury Report

Kevin Huerter (sprained finger) returned to the lineup following a one-game absence.

Keegan Murray exited the game following the first half due to what the team described as a “lower back injury.” Murray’s status will be updated before the Kings face the Pelicans again on Wednesday.

Chris Duarte exited Monday’s game due to a left hand injury. His status will also be updated before Sacramento’s next game on Wednesday.

Keon Ellis (left ankle sprain) was ruled out after taking a bad step on Sunday night in Dallas. The two-way guard is considered day-to-day.

Sasha Vezenkov (left thumb soreness) missed his first game of the season on Monday, but his injury is not considered severe. Vezenkov is day-to-day.

Trey Lyles (calf strain) has not appeared in a regular season game but is progressing toward a return to action. According to Kyle Draper, Lyles participated in a full-contact five-on-five workout before Monday’s game. Lyles may return by Friday when the Kings face the Minnesota Timberwolves, but his status will depend on how he responds to the full-contact workouts.

Alex Len (right ankle sprain) will be sidelined for six to eight weeks with a high ankle sprain. Expect JaVale McGee and Lyles, once he returns, to slide in and take over the backup center duties.

When is the next Sacramento Kings Game?

These two teams will return to the Smoothie King Center on Monday for a rematch in what will be Sacramento’s final game in New Orleans this season.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Pelicans coverage, beginning at 3:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 5:00 PM PST tip-off from New Orleans.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Wednesday, November 22nd – Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 PM PST
  • Friday, November 24th – Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves** – 5:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, November 28th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors** – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Clippers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, December 2nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST

** NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play

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