SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Forward Anthony Davis went into territory uncharted against Sacramento Kings, and in so doing lifted the New Orleans Pelicans to an impressive bounce-back victory Tuesday night.
Davis scored 27 points, the first Kings opponent to reach that total this season, and the Pelicans rode a big second half to a 106-100 victory over Sacramento at Sleep Train Arena.
Forward Ryan Anderson added 22 points and made four of 12 3-pointers for New Orleans, which won despite playing without forward Omer Asik (lower back stiffness) for the second straight night.
New Orleans blew a double-digit fourth-quarter lead in a 102-93 loss at Portland on Monday. This time, the Pelicans almost let a late 98-87 lead get away, as Sacramento’s 10-2 run over a 1:51 stretch late in the game put the Kings within 100-97. However, guard Tyreke Evans went into a crowd down low and made a layup, and Davis converted one of two free throws after a Kings miss to help the Pelicans (6-4) beat the Kings for the first time in the teams’ past four meetings.
Center DeMarcus Cousins led Sacramento (6-5) with 24 points and 17 rebounds, but the Kings lost for the fourth time in their past five games. Sacramento was seeking its first four-game home winning streak since Dec. 2012.
The Kings did not allow any opponent to score 25 points in their first 10 games, matching a franchise record, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Forward Rudy Gay scored 15 points in his first game since reaching agreement with the Kings on a three-year, $40 million contract. The Kings will announce the agreement formally at a press conference Wednesday.
Forward Jason Thompson scored a season-high 15 points and added nine rebounds for Sacramento, and guard Darren Collison had 13 points and 11 assists.
Thompson was especially effective in the first half, producing 12 points and six rebounds as the Kings took a 54-45 lead into halftime. But Sacramento had five turnovers and no assists while shooting 6-for-21 in the third quarter, and Davis scored 10 points as the Pelicans rolled to a 31-15 advantage in the quarter.
NOTES: Kings F Jason Thompson played despite left tendinitis in his left thigh muscle. Thompson, an unsung hero in Sacramento’s 6-4 start, held San Antonio F Tim Duncan, Los Angeles Clippers F Blake Griffin and Portland F LaMarcus Aldridge to 13-for-38 shooting (34.2 percent) in his matchups with them. All three were Kings’ victories. … Pelicans G Jimmer Fredette made his first appearance in Sacramento since being waived by the Kings in February. Fredette, a fan favorite at Sleep Train Arena, played 171 games in three seasons with Sacramento, averaging 5.6 points per game. … The Kings were still awaiting a ruling on their protest regarding their 111-110 loss at Memphis on Nov. 13. The Kings claim the game-winning lay-up should not have counted. … Pelicans third-year F Anthony Davis entered the game ranked first in blocks (36), second in double-doubles (seven), third in rebounding (11.7 per game) and fourth in scoring (25.2) in the NBA.
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