Pelicans Defeat Kings Behind D-League MVP’s Debut


A strong second quarter performance from Ryan Anderson plus stellar ball movement and overall play from former NBA D-League MVP and point guard Tim Frazier paved the way for New Orleans’ success as the Pelicans defeated the Sacramento Kings, 123-108, in the final game played between the two teams at Sleep Train Arena Wednesday evening.

With the win, the Pelicans completed the season series sweep against the Kings and snapped a four game losing streak on their five-game road trip.

New Orleans is now tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the second longest active win streak against the Kings in the NBA, with six wins. The Pelicans sit behind the Golden State Warriors with 12 straight wins against the Kings.

New Orleans (25-42) played efficiently in nearly every major aspect of the game. Despite giving up 108 points, the Pelicans finished with only eight turnovers, shot the ball over 50 percent from the field and shot a much-improved 57 percent from three-point range in the game, something they lacked in their last five games.

With a 15-point lead to begin the fourth quarter, the Pelicans kept their foot on the gas and never looked back. New Orleans was able to score from every area of the floor.

Frazier, who signed a 10-day contract with the Pelicans, played a huge role in facilitating and putting Pelican players in great positions to make plays.

The Kings, who trailed by as many as 27, continued to score offensively, cutting their deficit to 16 points. The play from Anthony Davis, Anderson and Frazier, however, helped the Pelicans seal the victory down the stretch.

For the game, the Pelicans shot 54 percent off 49-of-90 shooting from the floor and 81 percent (13-of-16) from the charity stripe. New Orleans outrebounded Sacramento, 42-39, and recorded more fast break points (16-10).

Ryan Anderson led the Pelicans in scoring with 29 of 57 points off the bench. Four other Pelican players finished in double figures.

Mar 16, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) puts up a shot over Sacramento Kings forward Caron Butler (31) during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Pelicans defeated the Kings 123-108. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis, who ranks seventh in the league in scoring and rebounding and third in blocks, finished the game with 27 points, 14 rebounds and one steal. Jrue Holiday finished with 17 points, followed by Frazier with 14 points and 11 points from Toney Douglas.

Sacramento (25-41) shot 47 percent off 42-of-90 shooting from the field, 50 percent (9-of-18) from three-point range and 88 percent (15-of-17) from the free throw line. Turnovers, however, hurt Sacramento as the Kings committed 11 that led to 21 points for the Pelicans.

Darren Collision, who averages 14 points per game as a starter, led the Kings in scoring with 20 points in the contest. Five other players for Sacramento finished in double figures.

DeMarcus Cousins, who ranks fourth in the league in scoring and fifth in the league in rebounds, finished the game with 20 points and 12 rebounds, followed by James Anderson with 17 points, Rudy Gay and Omri Casspi with 12 points respectively and Seth Curry finishing with 11 points.

Mar 16, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) looks on during the second quarter of the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans scored first in the game when Davis connected on a basket in the paint. From there, the two teams played up-tempo and exchanged baskets on offense before New Orleans went on a 11-2 run to take an 18-9 lead.

Following a timeout, the Kings responded with a quick 7-2 run. James Anderson hit a three pointer, Cousin converted on a strong finish in the paint and Seth Curry added a layup to cut the Pelicans lead to 18-16.

Both teams then went back and forth again. Then it was Frazier, the newly acquired point guard and MVP of the NBA D-League last season, who came in and made his debut for the Pelicans. Frazier recorded four points and three assists in six minutes of action. New Orleans held a two-point lead at the end of the first, 33-31.

In the second quarter, the two teams continued to play at a fast pace.  Following an early timeout and a few free throws from Sacramento, Frazier served as a major catalyst in the Pelicans 10-2 run, pushing the ball in transition and facilitating ball movement around the court to put his teammates in good position for easy field goal opportunities.

With 5:16 to play and a 54-45 lead, New Orleans kept their streak of sharp shooting going. Anderson scored nine of the Pelicans 11 points to increase their lead to 65-50. Then, in the final two minutes, Anderson added five more points to finish the half with 21 points. New Orleans led Sacramento at the half, 74-53.

New Orleans finished the half strong offensively and defensively. The Pelicans shot 67 percent off 30-of-45 shooting from the field and 64 percent from three-point range, with much of their success coming from Anderson’s stellar second-quarter performance.

The Pelicans also outrebounded the Kings in the opening half, 19-13. They also outscored the Kings in points in the paint (24-20) and bench points (39-13).

Anderson led the Pelicans in scoring at the half, scoring all of his 21 points in the second quarter. Despite trailing by 21 points at the half, Sacramento shot 50 percent from the floor and 55 percent from the charity stripe.

The Kings scored the first ten points of the second half, cutting their deficit to 11. The Pelicans withstood the Kings run and responded with clutch shots from Anderson, Holiday Davis and Douglas to put the Pelicans back up by 18 points, 88-70.

With under six minutes to play, both teams managed to score on offense. The Pelicans, who continued to move the ball quickly down the court and sharing the ball, and finished the third quarter with a 98-83 lead.

New Orleans returns home on Friday as the Pelicans take on the Portland Trailblazers at the Smoothie King Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m…….