Clinging to their slim playoff hopes, the Sacramento Kings led by as many as 17 points in the second half, but fell apart late in New Orleans. The result was a back-breaking loss to the Pelicans by a final of 115-112.
Anthony Davis started out slow, but finished with a fury for New Orleans. The Unibrow chipped in 31 points, 11 rebounds and three steals on the night as New Orleans improved to 24-38.
The Kings have made a habit out of giving up big point totals to secondary players this season. Monday in New Orleans, it was Norris Cole who got the golden ticket. Cole dropped 23 points on 8-for-19 shooting and added seven rebounds and five assists for the Pelicans.
Sacramento-native Ryan Anderson scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds and Jrue Holiday added 20 points and 10 assists in the loss.
DeMarcus Cousins punished the Pelicans frontline, but turned the ball over an incredible five times in the second half as the Kings stumbled down the stretch.
Alvin Gentry tried Omir Asik, Kendrick Perkins and Davis on Cousins and the Kings All-Star blew through them like they weren’t even on the floor. Sacramento’s big finished the night with 40 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and four steals in a must-win game for the Kings.
Rudy Gay attacked the Pelicans on the offensive end, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He also played exceptional defense on Davis when given an opportunity.
Rajon Rondo completed the Kings’ big-three, scoring 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting and adding another double-digit assist game. With his 10-assist night, Rondo now has 42 games this season with 10 or more dimes and he’s posted 31 double-doubles for the Kings.
Omri Casspi added 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench and Marco Belinelli scored eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Cousins loves to put on a show against Davis, his fellow University of Kentucky alum. Cousins picked up his 38th double-double of the season as he bolstered his claim as the NBA’s best big man.
The Kings collapsed in the final minute of the game once again. The Pelicans executed down the stretch and the Kings looked liked a team that had never played a close game in their lives.
After scoring a career-high 19 points a little over a week ago, Seth Curry missed his fifth straight game with a sprained right foot.
The Kings leave New Orleans after the game and head home where the Cleveland Cavaliers await.