Preview: Kings chase seventh straight win vs. Zion, Pelicans
Nov 20, 2023, 9:46 AM | Updated: 11:40 am
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
After dropping back-to-back contests in ugly fashion against the Houston Rockets, the Sacramento Kings have turned the page in a big way.
Sacramento (8-4) has won six straight games, with the latest being an impressive 129-113 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night in a game that saw both Domantas Sabonis (32 points) and De’Aaron Fox (30 points) pick apart the opposing defense.
The Kings are looking to match last season’s seven-game winning streak, a total that would match the franchise’s longest stretch since the 2003-04 season when they rattled off eight wins in a row.
It won’t be easy for Sacramento, who will be on the second night of a back-to-back against a New Orleans Pelicans (6-7) that possesses two players that have given the Kings a hard time in recent memory–Zion Williamson and Jonas Valančiūnas.
The two-week, six-game road trip continues for Sacramento. Can they knock off Zion and the Pellies?
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 237.5
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 4:30 PM PST tip-off from Louisiana.
Fox & The Ox
There’s not much you can say about the recent play of De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis outside of the fact that the duo has been simply dominant during this current win streak.
De’Aaron Fox since returning from an ankle injury (4 games)
- 32.3 PTS | 4.8 REB | 6.3 AST | 2.3 STL | 52% FG | 44% 3PT | 4-0 record
Domantas Sabonis over his past six games played
- 25.8 PTS | 12.7 REB | 8.7 AST | 1.2 BLK | 70% FG | 50% 3PT | 6-0 record
De’Aaron swipes, Domas finishes 🤌 pic.twitter.com/vfkEAsWVYi
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) November 20, 2023
Since Fox has returned from injury, Sacramento’s record-setting offense from a year ago has returned to form.
Over the past four games, the Kings have led the NBA in points per game (128.8), field goal percentage (54%), and offensive rating (126..5) while ranking second in assists per game (32.0) and fifth in three-point field goal percentage (42%).
The All-Star duo will look to continue their dominant play against a Pelicans team currently sitting at 21st in opponent points per game (115.6) and 19th in defensive rating (119.0).
New Orleans’ Duo In The Middle
While Fox and Sabonis have been a force during Sacramento’s six-game winning streak, they will have their hands full on Monday night.
Although Zion Williamson hasn’t faced the Kings in nearly three years (April 12, 2021), he has been a thorn in their sides during his four career matchups against Sacramento.
The high-flying forward holds career averages of 25.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game while converting 68 percent of his attempts from the field (42 for 61) in four games against the Kings (2-2 record).
Williamson has dealt with a series of lower body injuries over the past two seasons, but New Orleans has rostered another big man who has given Sacramento fits on both ends of the floor.
Jonas Valančiūnas has been a double-double machine during his past five matchups against the Kings, as the veteran center holds averages of 17.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game on 59 percent shooting from the field and five-of-seven from three-point range against Sacramento’s defense.
We’ll see if Sabonis can slow down his Lithuania men’s national basketball teammate on Monday night when these two talented centers meet at Smoothie King Center.
A Red Hot Offense
It isn’t rocket science. De’Aaron Fox makes the Kings’ offense a juggernaut.
In five games without Fox, who was rehabbing an ankle sprain, Sacramento averaged 102.6 points per game on 42 percent shooting from the field and a disappointing 30 percent from beyond the three-point line.
Since Fox returned last Monday night, the Kings have reverted back to last season’s record-setting offense–and that’s bad news for opposing defenses.
Sacramento Kings’ NBA offensive ranks since De’Aaron Fox returned from an ankle injury:
▪️ T-1st: Points/game (128.8)
▪️ 1st: Offensive Rating (126.5)
▪️ 1st: FG percentage (54%)
▪️ 2nd: Assists/game (32.0)
▪️ 5th: 3PT FG percentage (42%)
▪️ 4-0 record pic.twitter.com/fsE60nETIT
— Frankie Cartoscelli (@FCartoscelli3) November 20, 2023
Can Fox and a red-hot Sacramento offense keep things going against a Pelicans defense that has allowed an average of 120 points per game over their past four contests?
Kings vs. Pelicans Injury Report
- Kevin Huerter – QUESTIONABLE (left finger sprain)
- Sasha Vezenkov – QUESTIONABLE (left thumb soreness)
- Keon Ellis – OUT (left ankle sprain)
- Trey Lyles – OUT (left calf strain)
- Alex Len – OUT (right ankle sprain
- Jose Alvarado – QUESTIONABLE (right ankle sprain)
- Matt Ryan – QUESTIONABLE (right calf soreness)
- CJ McCollum – OUT (right lung; small pneumothorax)
- Trey Murphy III – OUT (left knee; partial meniscectomy)
- Larry Nance Jr. – OUT (right rib fracture)
- Monday, November 20th – Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 PM PST
- 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
** NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play