The Pelicans continue to smile. The team from New Orleans took their third consecutive victory this morning by defeating the Sacramento Kings by a more than resounding 125-95, strengthening their position as play in in the West defeating one of the few teams that seems to have an interest in disputing it. In fact, Willie Green’s men have placed themselves with this victory only 1.5 games behind the Lakers, who could take ninth place from them, which would give them home court advantage in the potential crossover between the two.
Despite the bulk of the result, the crash had a relatively even first part, but when it broke, it did it completely. The Kings hardly made an appearance in the second half and received a 60-34 run that turned the last two quarters into a real ride for the locals, who were led by a fantastic performance by Brandon Ingram. The forward finished the match with 33 points thanks to an excellent 15/19 shooting, to which he added 6 assists and 5 rebounds.
However, not everything was a bed of roses for Ingram, who had to head to the locker room after taking an elbow from Damian Jones. However, the former Lakers player managed to return to the game without problems, and wanted to play down the matter: «It was a normal play in a basketball game. He tried to attack the rim and hit me on the lip. I wanted to get back into the game, especially in case the Kings started to come back, and because I was feeling very comfortable and the ball was going in.”
The forward was supported by the 17 points signed by both Jonas Valanciuas, who also added 14 rebounds, as well as CJ McCollum and Naji Marshall. For the latter, this was his best mark of the season, and he achieved it in just 16 minutes that he had available starting from the bench.
What about the Kings?
In Sacramento, neither the 25 points of De’Aaron Fox, the 19 of Harrison Barnes or the 15 of Domantas Sabonis served to finish giving a worthy image, leading the team to another heavy defeat. However, this is not just any defeat, because, with a balance of 23-41, the Kings confirmed mathematically that they will end with a negative record for the 16th consecutive season, just the ones they have not been in the playoffs.
With the transfer of Sabonis, the Californians seemed willing to fight for the last place in play in, but, after a promising start with two victories in the first two games after his arrival, everything has returned to the way it was before. The Kings have five losses in the last six games and are now four games away from the tenth place occupied by the Pelicans, by whom they have been swept this morning.
Other years, the harshness of the West made it understandable that they failed to break into the top eight. On this occasion, however, with access to the postseason cheaper than ever and after a transfer in which they gave up a potential future star to compete immediately, it seems that they will stay the same or further away again. More than a basketball game, this morning was a plea for the mental health of the fans, reminding them that they only have one life and that they should not waste it trusting the Kings.
(Photo Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)