NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 31st (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (25-48) at New Orleans Pelicans (32-41), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Pelicans aim to get back on track when they return home to host the Sacramento Kings.
The Pelicans had a five-game winning streak stopped with Saturday's 96-80 loss to the scalding San Antonio Spurs. Anthony Davis did not play because of an ankle injury and Brian Roberts led New Orleans with 18 points off the bench. Austin Rivers scored 16 as a reserve and Tyreke Evans was the only starter to score in double digits with 11.
New Orleans was in the hole after the first quarter, trailing 28-15, and had won nine of its previous 12 games.
"We just came out really slow in that first (quarter)," said Rivers. "It was kind of tough from there. They're the best team in the NBA. They play so well together."
Davis will try to play Monday and leads the Pelicans with 21.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. Davis is averaging 29.8 points and 13.5 boards in his last 10 games. Pelicans guard Eric Gordon (knee) is questionable Monday.
The Pelicans have won four in a row at home and have a 20-17 record in the Big Easy this season.
Sacramento will close out a three-game road trip Monday and have lost the first two portions of the trek to Oklahoma City and Dallas. In Saturday's 103-100 setback against the Mavericks, the Kings were down 52-35 late in the first half and later grabbed an 81-80 lead on a Rudy Gay tip-in.
The Kings pushed the lead to 85-80, but the Mavericks answered with a 10-0 run and never looked back. Gay pumped in 30 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 17 and seven rebounds. Ray McCallum took over again for an injured Isaiah Thomas (quadriceps) to post 16 points and eight assists.
"I loved how we played in that second half -- held them to 40 percent. I believe in the second half," said Kings coach Mike Malone. "Third quarter was terrific after Reggie Evans set the tone for us, his physicality, his defense, his rebounding. But as a group, to hold that team with the offensive firepower they have to 40 percent in the second half is tremendous."
The Kings turned the ball over 20 times, leading to 25 Mavericks points, and haven't had Thomas the last three games. Thomas, who is questionable Monday, suffered the injury March 23 versus the Milwaukee Bucks and is averaging 24.2 ppg in the last six games.
Sacramento has lost four in a row and seven of its last eight road games and is 10-27 as the visitor this season.
The Kings are 2-1 against the Pelicans this season, but have dropped 14 of the past 17 contests as the visitor in this series.
03/31 10:30:31 ET