SACRAMENTO KINGS

Preview: Fox, Kings seek revenge against Zion, Pelicans

Nov 22, 2023, 9:15 AM

(Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings have lost just two games by 30 or more points since the start of last season.

Both losses occurred at the Smoothie King Center, with the latest being Monday night’s 129-93 blowout at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans.

After winning six straight games, the Kings (8-5) suffered its first loss during a two-week, six-game road trip that is set to conclude on Friday night.

Before Sacramento’s team plane can set its coordinates for Minneapolis, they will have to face Zion Williamson and the Pelicans again on Wednesday night in a rematch of Monday’s lopsided affair.

New Orleans (7-7) used big nights from Williamson (26 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field) and Brandon Ingram (31 points) to defeat a Kings team that was rolling behind Western Conference Player of the Week winner De’Aaron Fox.

Will Sacramento turn the page and make the necessary adjustments to keep Williamson and Ingram in check, or will they exit New Orleans on the heels of two losing efforts?

Sacramento Kings vs. New Orleans Pelicans Game Info

When: 5:00 PM PST

Where: Smoothie King Center – New Orleans, LA

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 3:30 PM on Game Night

Line: Kings -1.5, O/U 236.5

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 Louisiana.

Who Can Slow Down Zion?

That is the question.

Ever since Zion Williamson took the floor against the Sacramento Kings for the first time, he has been nearly unstoppable–especially in the paint.

Over five career matchups against Sacramento, Williamson holds averages of 25.6 points and 5.0 rebounds on 70 percent shooting from the field, including a 26-point performance during Monday’s winning effort.

With Williamson acting as a freight train by getting downhill and working his way to the rim with ease, the Pelicans outscored the Kings in the paint 64-40 while shooting 54 percent from the field as a team.

“We were supposed to double-team him all night,” Kings head coach Mike Brown said if his team’s defensive plan of attack on Williamson. “I don’t think we got to him one time, and if we did get to him, he was going right through our double teams.”

Nobody on Sacramento’s active roster was able to slow Williamson’s roll, and the Kings will have to change their approach on Wednesday night.

Watch for Sacramento to throw a series of double-teams at the former number-one pick this time around as the Kings will look to play a game of percentages and take their chances on the Pelicans’ three-point shooters, especially after New Orleans went 12-for-28 (43%) from deep on Monday.

Can Fox Bounce Back?

De’Aaron Fox had his first rough showing of the season on Monday, but he wasn’t alone on that end of things.

As a team, Sacramento struggled to find the bottom of the net during their blowout loss, shooting 37 percent from the field and a season-worst 11-of-45 (24%) from beyond the three-point arc.

Fox, who finished with 14 points on five-of-18 shooting from the floor, has done an excellent job of bouncing back from tough performances during his NBA career.

The All-Star guard hasn’t turned in back-to-back performances scoring less than 15 points on 30 percent or worse shooting since the 2018-19 season, meaning there is a strong chance Fox finds his rhythm on Wednesday.

Fox’s three-point shot has been impressive thus far, as the guard is shooting a career-best 37 percent from deep on nine attempts per game.

New Orleans took Fox’s outside game away on Monday, forcing the speedy guard into a two-for-12 shooting performance. The Pelicans possess the NBA’s best three-point defense, holding opponents to a 31.7 percentage from beyond the arc, meaning that Fox and the Kings could have difficulty creating separation for clean looks.

Sacramento shied away from attacking the paint and instead based their attack from the perimeter on Monday, but with fresh legs this time around, expect the Kings to attack the paint against a Pelicans defense that ranks 22nd in opponent points in the paint (51.4).

Kings vs. Pelicans Injury Report

Sacramento

  • Trey Lyles – QUESTIONABLE (left calf strain)
  • Chris Duarte – QUESTIONABLE (left thumb soreness)
  • Keegan Murray – QUESTIONABLE (low back soreness)
  • Sasha Vezenkov – QUESTIONABLE (left thumb soreness)
  • Keon Ellis – OUT (left ankle sprain)
  • Alex Len – OUT (right ankle sprain

New Orleans

  • Larry Nance Jr. – QUESTIONABLE (right rib fracture)
  • Matt Ryan – OUT (right calf soreness)
  • CJ McCollum – OUT (right lung; small pneumothorax)
  • Trey Murphy III – OUT (left knee; partial meniscectomy)

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

Thank you for reading SactownSports.com. Follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Newsletter

Sacramento Kings

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

Field Level Media

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

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.

2 days ago

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 19: Larry Nance Jr. #22 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots the ball ...

Frankie Cartoscelli

End of the Line: Kings lose to Pelicans (again) to end season

The Sacramento Kings' 2023-24 season ended on Friday as the New Orleans Pelicans secured the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

2 days ago

Keon Ellis #23 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles during the second half against the New York Knicks ...

Amiliano Fragoso

Ian Eagle says Keon Ellis is an example of being in the right NBA situation

Ian Eagle joined The Drive Guys Friday to preview the Kings-Pelicans matchup and other pressing topics around the game of basketball.

2 days ago

Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors and assistant coach Mike Brown react after a foul c...

Brenden Nunes

Draymond Green calls Mike Brown ‘defensive genius’ after play-in

Golden State forward Draymond Green complimented Mike Brown and the Sacramento Kings defense in their recent play-in matchup.

2 days ago

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 7: Logan Webb (62) of the San Francisco Giants pitches at Oracle ...

Frankie Cartoscelli

SF Giants’ Logan Webb gives his prediction for Kings vs. Pelicans

SF Giants ace and Rocklin native Logan Webb believes the Sacramento Kings will win against the New Orleans Pelicans and claim the 8th seed.

2 days ago

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 11: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings shoots over Herbert Jone...

Frankie Cartoscelli

Preview: Kings & Pelicans meet with NBA Playoff berth on the line

The Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans will meet on Friday night with a trip to the NBA Playoffs on the line.

3 days ago

Preview: Fox, Kings seek revenge against Zion, Pelicans