The Kings faced a challenge against the Pelicans in New Orleans on Tuesday night, playing without starters Rudy Gay and Darren Collison due to injury, but they managed to pull out a 99-89 win.
For a majority of the night, the Kings also had to play without coach Michael Malone, who picked up two technical fouls and was ejected in the second quarter.
Sacramento leveraged lockdown defense in the first and fourth quarters allowing just 16 and 19 points, respectively, plus a team effort with five players in double figures led by Omri Casspi and DeMarcus Cousins, who scored 22 points each to secure the win.
Casspi and Ramon Sessions hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Sacramento a 95-81 lead with 4:05 left in the fourth quarter and the Kings never looked back.
The Kings started the game on a 12-2 run and led by as many as 15 points in the first quarter 25-13.
The second quarter featured fireworks as referee Eric Lewis ejected Malone with 4:43 to go after the second-year coach argued that Ramon Sessions was fouled.
Assistant coach Ty Corbin took over for the rest of the night.
The Kings allowed 33 points on 54 percent shooting by the Pelicans in the second quarter, and they were out-rebounded by 10 by New Orleans.
After being tied at 49 at halftime, the Kings went on a 15-8 run to start the third quarter with the first eight points by Cousins and the next seven by Casspi to take a 64-57 lead with 5:48 to go in the quarter.
The Pelicans closed the third quarter on a 13-11 run as the Kings held a 75-70 lead.
The Kings improved to 9-5 while the Pelicans fell to 7-6.
Sessions had 15 points starting for the injured Collison, Ben McLemore chipped in with 10 and Ray McCallum contributed 12 points off the bench in the winning cause.
New Orleans was led by former King Tyreke Evans with 22 points while local Sacramento product Ryan Anderson went for 20 points in defeat.
Omri Casspi started for an injured Rudy Gay and delivered a clutch 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the floor.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Omri Casspi and Ramon Sessions extended the Kings lead to 95-81 with 4:05 left in the fourth quarter and Sacramento never looked back.
Sacramento – F Rudy Gay (right Achilles tendinitis) and G Darren Collison (left quadriceps contusion) were ruled out and did not play. G Ramon Sessions (right knee strain) was upgraded to probable, started and played.
New Orleans – C Omer Asik (lower back pain) was upgraded to probable and played. G Eric Gordon (left shoulder subluxation) was ruled out and did not play.
The Kings face Houston in the second game of a back-to-back on Wednesday before concluding the four game road trip in San Antonio on Friday.