Programming note: Kings-Pelicans coverage starts Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. with Kings Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California (territory restrictions apply) Channel locations
UPDATE (3:45 p.m. on Tuesday) -- Darren Collison (left quad contusion/muscle strain) is officially out for the Kings-Pelicans game.
In a rematch of last Tuesday’s 106-100 Kings loss to the Pelicans at Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento and New Orleans hook up at the Smoothie King Center in the Big Easy on Tuesday.
The Kings (8-5) are coming off a 113-101 win over the Timberwolves on Saturday in the first game of a four-game road trip.
DeMarcus Cousins recorded his sixth straight double-double and 10th of the season with a game high 31 points while matching his season high of 18 rebounds in the win in Minnesota.
Cousins, the Western Conference Player of the Week is second in the NBA in double doubles and is averaging 23.2 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, tied for fifth and leading the league, respectively.
[RELATED: Cousins named Player of the Week]
Meanwhile, the Pelicans (7-5) were propelled by Anthony Davis’ career-high 43 points in a 106-94 win over the Jazz in Utah on Saturday.
Davis is ubiquitous amongst NBA statistical leaders:
• 26.3 points per game -- 2nd
• 11.4 rebounds per game -- 6th
• 3.5 blocks per game -- 1st
• 2.17 steals per game -- T-2nd
• 8 Double Doubles -- T-4th
While two frontcourt players in Cousins and Davis feature prominently in the matchup, backcourt play cannot be ignored.
Former King Tyreke Evans was devastating last Tuesday in California’s capital city scoring all of his 18 points in the second half as was local product Ryan Anderson, who contributed 22 in the Pelicans' winning cause -- along the way becoming the highest bench scorer in New Orleans franchise history.
While Eric Gordon is out due to injury, Jrue Holiday, Austin Rivers and Evans all must be defended and kept out of the Kings paint.
Darren Collison is questionable due to injury but has been superb at the point guard position for Sacramento, averaging 16 points and seven assists per game while ranking eighth in the NBA with an assist to turnover ratio of 3.65.
Ben McLemore is surging after a slow start. The former Kansas Jayhawk went for 22 points in Minnesota and is now averaging in double digits at 10.2 points per game and shooting 41.4 percent from 3-point range.
New Orleans leads the NBA only turning the ball over 11 times per game and is sixth in scoring at 103.9 points per game. The Pelicans are 4-1 at home with their last loss at Smoothie King Center occurring back on Nov. 1 to Dallas, 109-104.
The Kings are seeking their ninth win of the season -- a feat that took them until Dec. 27 to accomplish last season.
To get it done Tuesday, the Kings will need a consistent effort over 48 minutes from not only their bigs but their guards as well -- with an emphasis on defense.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Jason Thompson vs. Anthony Davis. Any time someone goes for 40-plus points, they’re going to land as a primary matchup and so it goes with Davis’ 43 in the Pelicans' win in Utah.
Thompson must have an awareness of where Davis is on the floor at all times, and get help from his teammates. Davis must be faced with a team-defense mentality.
HERENDA’s AGENDA: 1. Preparation: The Kings' lapses -- including the most recent near-somnambulant (sleepwalking) first half in Minnesota when 10 turnovers led to 13 Timberwolves points and only two of 12 Kings 3-pointers fell -- must be avoided on the road against a potent Pelicans squad.
Being ready to play from the opening tip is key; coming from behind at New Orleans will not be easy.
2. Paint protection: Sacramento’s paint protection ends with Davis but must begin with on-ball defense at the “head of the snake” -- to use Kings coach Michael Malone’s lexicon -- against the physical perimeter players of New Orleans.
If the Pelicans guards easily get into the paint with Davis on the interior and Anderson spotting up beyond the 3-point line, it could be a long night for Sacramento.
3. Prevent Pels points: New Orleans is 0-3 when scoring less than 100 and the Kings are 4-1 when holding opponents under 100 points.
In addition, Sacramento is 8-4 when holding opponents to less than 50 percent shooting from the floor.
Trying to outscore the Pelicans is not a sound strategy.
INJURY UPDATE: Sacramento -- F Rudy Gay (right Achilles tendinitis) and G Darren Collison (left quadriceps contusion) are out and G Ramon Sessions (right knee strain) is questionable.
New Orleans -- G Eric Gordon (left shoulder subluxation) C Omer Asik (lower back pain) have been placed on the inactive list.
[RELATED: Gay ruled out for Kings against Pelicans]
SERIES HISTORY: This is the second of four meetings this season between Sacramento and New Orleans. The Pelicans defeated the Kings 106-100 last Tuesday in Sacramento.
The Kings were 3-1 versus the Pelicans* last season.
Sacramento leads the overall series 36-35.
*New Orleans’ moniker was the Hornets up until last season and now is the Pelicans.