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    Pelicans 129, Kings 93: Pelicans Pose a Problem

    Road back to backs are brutal, even for the Beam Team.
    By | 19 Comments | Nov 20, 2023

    Nov 20, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles against Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) during the first half at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

    Fueled by the strength of six straight beams, the Kings landed in New Orleans for their first second night on a back to back. Tonight was the first of two consecutive matchups with the Pelicans and the Kings had the task of containing the explosive freight train that is Zion Williamson and his running mate, the human cellar spider, Brandon Ingram. Let’s see how they did:

    Quick Stats

    Outcome: Kings lose, 93-129

    Sacramento Kings: 93 pts, 37.9% fg, 24.4% 3 pt, 66.7% ft, 27 ast, 36 reb, 13 to

    New Orleans Pelicans: 129 pts, 54.3% fg, 42.9% 3 pt, 81.0% ft, 38 ast, 55 reb, 12 to

    Well, the beam gets a night off. The Kings came out with some spunk, overcoming a 12-point deficit early on to finish the first quarter with a 2-point lead. But it didn’t take long for Zion Williamson to realize he is a freak of nature and he jump started the Pelicans’ run to victory in the second quarter. From there, things only got uglier. From every spot on the floor, including the free throw line, the Kings struggled to put the ball in the basket. And at the end of the day, it’s just really hard to win basketball games when you can’t do that.

    The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    The Good:
    1. Another Shot Soon: The Kings looked like the Kings for the first 20 minutes before the fatigue set in and they turned into the Kangz. Before leaving the game at the half with a reported lower back injury, Keegan Murray showed some valuable defensive possessions on his tough defensive assignment of Brandon Ingram, both in transition and the half court set. Domantas Sabonis got out to another productive start, finishing the first quarter with 7 point and 6 rebounds. The Kings connected on 13 assists in the first half, as the ball moved around the offensive half well. Malik Monk showcased his creative spark off the bench, setting up plays for Sabonis and JaVale McGee. And then, simply put, everything fell apart, as the score clearly indicates. But there’s a silver lining in everything, right? Tonight’s is that the Kings will have another shot at redemption against this Pelicans team in just a few days. On fresher legs, the Kings will hopefully be able to do more of the few good things we saw tonight.
    The Bad:
    1. Cold Shooting: Beginning midway through the second quarter, it felt like the Kings would go for extremely long stretches without hitting a single field goal. Credit should be given to the Pelicans, who played active defense on the perimeter and collapsed well in the paint to plug up any open looks at the rim. But when the collapse happened and the Kings found open shooters, shots just weren’t falling. So many of the Kings’ shots were either too short or too long as they shot just 11-45 (24.4%) from the 3-point line. Usual snipers like De’Aaron Fox (14 points), Kevin Huerter (10 points), and Malik Monk (8 points), combined for 6-26 from distance. The Pelicans were able to go on multiple runs when the Kings went through these scoring droughts. Eventually, these runs added up to an insurmountable deficit for the Kings.
    2. Injuries: If I could, I would donate every muscle, ligament, and tendon I have to this team. The Kings went into this game without Trey Lyles (calf strain), Alex Len (ankle sprain), and Keon Ellis (ankle sprain). And by the end of the first half, they also lost Chris Duarte to a hand injury and Keegan Murray to a lower back injury. Health is so important in this league and the Kings suffered from their shortened bench tonight.
    The Ugly:
    1. Dominated by the Duo:¬†Here’s a TLDR of the game: The first quarter was fun. The second quarter was the Zion Williamson Show. The third quarter was the Brandon Ingram Show. The fourth quarter was… the debut of Filip Petrusev. It was during the middle two quarters when things really got away from the Kings. First, Zion spent the second quarter singlehandedly creating the separation by scoring 18 of his 26 points. Zion finished 12-16 from the field and got to the left side of the rim whenever he wanted. Whether he was coming off of curl actions from the right side to send him downhill with his strong hand, or he was just taking advantage of his size over Harrison Barnes, the Kings had no answer for Zion. Once Zion was tired of ruining my night, Brandon Ingram stepped in to take over. In the third quarter, Ingram scored 18 of his 31 points, shooting a perfect 5-5 from the 3-point line. Paired with the Kings’ inability to get in the paint and score efficiently, these two individual performances for the Pelicans was more than enough to put this game away very early.

    The King of Kings

    Off the bench, JaVale McGee finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Prior to everything falling apart, McGee was active on the glass and had some fun two-man actions with Malik Monk. With the uncertainty of the Kings’ injury report for the near future, McGee will likely be looked to again to replicate and multiply these productive actions for his team for them to earn redemption on Wednesday.

    Up Next

    Wednesday, November 22nd @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 P.M. (PT)

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    billoddity
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    November 20, 2023 7:55 pm

    Yeah just tired, rest and onto the next one.

    Klam
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    Nostradumbass 18
    Nostradumbass 19
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    Nostradumbass 19
    November 20, 2023 8:08 pm

    Unfortunate. Hoping Trey Lyles comes back soon, because man could we use him in the front line for the next two games of this road trip. Hoping that Keegan’s injury isn’t serious either, but we shall see.

    Rest up, come out Wednesday and make the game competitive.

    RPO
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    RPO
    November 20, 2023 8:14 pm

    Hopefully this pitiful performance really was just due to tiredness. I guess how they perform in the next game will let us know if it’s fatigue or a more fundamental problem. Last three losses have been by an average of 23 points

    Jman1949
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    November 20, 2023 8:23 pm
    Reply to  RPO

    comment image&ct=g

    RPO
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    RPO
    November 20, 2023 8:57 pm
    Reply to  Jman1949

    comment image

    Yakshi
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    November 20, 2023 8:25 pm

    If the pattern is “win six straight and then get blown out,” I’ll sign up twice.

    Marty
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    November 21, 2023 11:07 am
    Reply to  Yakshi

    Seconded

    RAP87
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    November 20, 2023 8:54 pm

    Ehh it’s a scheduled loss anyway. Would have liked if we won this game but not disappointed even if we got blown out. Second night of a back to back is tough then you factor in injuries to multiple players and this is the result. Hopefully Keegan’s injury isn’t that serious but backs are tricky. Wouldn’t mind if he doesn’t play the rest of the road trip to ensure he is 100% healthy when he gets back. It’s a long season and making sure everyone is healthy is the priority.

    murraytant
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    November 21, 2023 4:46 pm
    Reply to  RAP87

    Keegan and Duarte are questionable for game Wed.

    ForKingsandCountry
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    November 20, 2023 9:23 pm

    Very predictable loss. Honestly, the only game I care about this week is the Twolves game so just win that one.

    KingsSince85
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    November 20, 2023 11:38 pm

    Agreed. They need that win on Friday not only to pick up a game on a Twolves team that is ahead of the Kings in the standings, but also to be in a good position to make one of the 4 western conference tournament spots.

    UpgradedToQuestionable
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    November 20, 2023 10:43 pm

    well, shucks.

    Hope health returns and Coach Brown figures out how to solve the Pels puzzle for a win next try.

    Hobby916
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    November 21, 2023 5:00 am

    The Kings better come out with a better gameplan defensively. Pelicans kept running Zion to the left side and curl to the rim…over and over. Kings tried making him go right, but he would eventually get back to his left.

    Ingram was hot, so they need to figure out a way to deny him the ball or make him work much harder.

    Adamsite
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    Nostradumbass 14
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    Nostradumbass 14
    November 21, 2023 8:50 am
    Reply to  Hobby916

    I’d imagine every team has a plan to stop him driving to the left, but he just does it anyway. The man is a bull in a china shop when going down hill and is deceptively quick.

    SneakerKing
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    November 21, 2023 9:49 am

    I’m a little concerned in that while the Kings have a little injury bug amongst the ranks, the Pels were without CJ, Jose Alvarado, and Larry Nance Jr and still put a hurting on us. While I’m not sure we will win on Wednesday, I’m hoping the Kings show some pride and put up a better fight and not have a repeat of what happened with Houston.

    Greg
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    November 21, 2023 10:48 am
    Reply to  SneakerKing

    Alvarado played 15 minutes, but your larger point is still valild. That said, Lyles is doing 5-on-5 work so he should be back soon.

    Hobby916
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    November 21, 2023 11:16 am
    Reply to  SneakerKing

    We got to see passive Domas down low again. Not sure if Jonas deterred him, he was tired, or the game plan was to collapse the defense and kick out for 3s. Whatever combination of those were, it didn’t work.

    murraytant
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    November 21, 2023 4:46 pm
    Reply to  Hobby916

    he had trouble with Jonas last year too.

    murraytant
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    November 21, 2023 4:45 pm

    Seven guys banged up: Lyles, Len, Sasha, Ellis, Duarte, Keegan, Huerter. Some will play, some will not.
    I thought Kings were the better team at 45-41 mark of the game. But all 4 wheels fell off.
    This one was a tough one to win.

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