NBA News Wire

Kings 96, Pelicans 89

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Guard Isaiah Thomas scored 11 of his 22 points in the third quarter, sparking a decisive run along the way, and the Sacramento Kings snapped a three-game skid with a 96-89 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday at Sleep Train Arena.

Thomas scored seven points during a 22-7 spurt that turned a 52-46 deficit into a 68-59 lead going into the final period. Key among the run was a three-point play that put Sacramento ahead 59-57. Thomas sank a driving floater from the right baseline while being fouled.

Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins added a team-high 23 points and 12 rebounds for his 36th double-double of the season. Forward Rudy Gay, who matched a career high with 41 points in the teams’ previous meeting on Jan. 21, scored 14 points, and forward Reggie Evans had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

The Kings (21-39) won with fewer than 100 points for the first time since Feb. 3 against the Chicago Bulls.

Cousins also avoided drawing a technical foul. The NBA’s leader with 16, Cousins will receive a one-game suspension the next time he draws a technical.

Kings rookie guard Ray McCallum added a career-high eight points.

Former Kings guard Tyreke Evans led the Pelicans with 27 points. He added 10 rebounds and eight assists but couldn’t prevent New Orleans from losing its eighth in a row. The Pelicans (23-37) fell to 0-4 on a five-game trip.

New Orleans forward Anthony Davis missed his first nine shots and finished with 13 points. Davis made his final three shots after starting 1-for-11 from the floor. He did not make a shot until the third quarter.

The performance did nothing to alleviate concerns about Davis’ left shoulder, which he injured last Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks. The second-year pro shot a combined 5-for-20 while scoring only 21 points over his past two games.

Without Davis’ usual 20 points per game, the Pelicans struggled to find offense. Guard Brian Roberts added 15 points and backcourt mate Eric Gordon scored 10. The two rebounded from a horrid effort against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday by shooting a combined 10-for-27 Monday. Roberts and Gordon went a combined 2-for-21 against Los Angeles.

NOTES: New Orleans F Anthony Davis (20.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.96 blocks per game entering Monday) has a chance to become the first player to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks per game through an entire season since current Kings executive Shaquille O’Neal did so with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999-2000. … Sacramento is the only team with three players averaging at least 20 points per game. C DeMarcus Cousins (22.3 before Monday), G Isaiah Thomas (20.5) and F Rudy Gay (20.4) all were among the top 20 in NBA scoring entering the contest. … New Orleans was averaging 6.3 blocks per game entering the contest, the most in the NBA, and its 38 percent shooting from 3-point range ranked fourth. … Kings rookie G Ray McCallum averaged 15 minutes per game in his previous eight contests and was coming off a season-high 28-minute effort against Minnesota on Saturday. He was averaging 8.8 minutes in the 22 games he’d played before Monday. … Sacramento opens a season-long seven-game road trip Wednesday at Milwaukee. … New Orleans concludes its road trip with a Tuesday game against the Lakers.