|7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)04:0022:00 ET9:00 PM CT1:00 , January 4, 2020
Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California Attendance: 16,808
Pelicans look to bounce back vs. Kings
New Orleans Pelicans at Sacramento Kings
- New Orleans won three out of four meetings with the Kings last season, averaging 130.0 points on 51.9 percent shooting. That's the highest single-season scoring average by the Pelicans against any opponent all-time, with a minimum of three games played.
- Sacramento snapped an eight-game losing streak with Thursday's 128-123 home win over the Grizzlies. The Kings overcame a 20-point deficit early in the second quarter to win, their largest comeback win of the season.
- Buddy Hield has made at least one three-pointer in 29 straight games, the third-longest active streak in the NBA (Stephen Curry, 61; James Harden, 55 entering Friday). Hield's 3.7 three-pointers made per game would break his own franchise single-season record of 3.4 set last season.
- Richaun Holmes is averaging a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game, up from 4.7 per game last season with Phoenix. That 3.8 increase is tied for the largest in the NBA, with Indiana's Domantas Sabonis (9.3 to 13.1; played in minimum 70 percent of team's games both seasons).
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De'Aaron Fox is viewed as the player that makes the Sacramento Kings go.
The 22-year-old point guard fueled a fierce rally as Sacramento ended an eight-game losing streak on Thursday and he aims for another strong showing when the Kings host the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.
Fox keyed the club's highest-scoring outing of the season by recording 27 points, nine assists and a season-best five steals in the 128-123 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Sacramento overcame a 20-point, second-quarter deficit while winning for the first time since Dec. 15.
"We're not happy with one win," Fox told reporters after the victory. "The way we pushed the pace definitely helped me a lot. We know we have to be able to get stops to win games, and to piece together as many minutes in a 48-minute game as possible."
Fox is averaging 17.6 points and 6.9 assists, but he has played in just 17 games due to injuries.
He missed 17 games with an ankle injury earlier in the season and recently missed another contest due to a back injury.
Kings coach Luke Walton is hoping Fox can avoid another setback as he would like to push the pace with the speedster leading the way.
"He's so quick and he reads things so well that when he's really engaged and he's coming over to help, he just gets to places so quick and he's so explosive," Walton said after the Memphis game. "It gets us out and running."
Shooting guard Buddy Hield had 26 points and seven rebounds against the Grizzlies as he continues to move on from a recent funk. Hield has scored 20 or more points in four straight games after failing to reach the mark in his previous six contests.
The Pelicans had won five of six games before falling 123-113 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night in the first of back-to-back road games.
New Orleans had no answer on how to stop Anthony Davis -- the franchise's former six-time All-Star -- as he had 46 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers.
Two of the players the Pelicans landed in the offseason deal topped 20 points. Point guard Lonzo Ball scored 23 on 10-of-16 shooting, and small forward Brandon Ingram added 22 despite connecting on just 10 of 27 shots.
Ball scored 27 points in Sunday's upset win over the Houston Rockets and has recorded back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his three-year career.
"He has been playing well," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said after Friday's setback. "He has been doing a good job with the pace of the game and pushing it. He has done a good job of getting the ball into the paint and if not finding somebody, then finishing himself. I think he's done a good job."
Ball has had spirited battles with Fox in the past, including when he was at UCLA and Fox was at Kentucky.
Ball figures to be up for the task of defending Fox after recently expressing that his legs are finally feeling good again.
He suffered a season-ending ankle injury while with the Lakers last season and injured a groin early in this campaign.
Ingram agrees with the assessment that Ball looks healthy.
"He's doing everything without hesitating," Ingram said after the loss to the Lakers. "We have full confidence in everything he's doing, getting to the basket, getting to the mid-range, getting to the three. That's everything you want, and he's defending the basketball."
New Orleans has won four of its last five games against the Kings, but this contest could be more challenging as Sacramento rested Friday while the Pelicans were playing in Los Angeles.
"We just got to play," Gentry said. "We have a bunch of young guys. We don't have old men ... and we have a good bench and we will use our bench (against Sacramento)."
Kings reserve shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle) is expected to miss the contest.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 4, 2020