The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim for a pivotal Western Conference clash between the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans.
13:30 (AEDT), Thu 12th Mar @ Golden 1 Center
History: Played 60: Pelicans 34 V Kings 26
Last meeting: January 4, 2020: Pelicans 117 d Kings 115 at Golden 1 Center
Final Thoughts: The Sacramento Kings and New Orleans come into today’s clash with identical 28-36 records, striving to stay in Western Conference playoffs contention.
The Kings rallied with six wins in their first seven games out of the All-Star break. But in the past week they lost to the heavyweight 76ers (125-108) and Raptors (118-113) at home either side of a 123-111 win in Portland.
De’Aaron Fox has been the Kings’ offensive leader, posting 23-plus points in five of his last six games.
The Pelicans kicked off March with three straight losses to the Lakers, Timberwolves and Mavericks. They bounced back, however, with wins over the Heat at home (110-104) and T-Wolves away (120-107.
Zion Williamson continues to shine in the early stages of his NBA career, averaging 23.6 and 6.8 rebounds. But he’s no one-man band – Jrue Holiday went off for 37 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists in Minneapolis.
New Orleans have won 13 of their last 18 against Sacramento, including four of the last five as the away team.
The Pelicans edged the Kings 117-115 at Golden Center in the teams’ only previous meeting this season. Lonzo Ball (24 pts, 6 reb, 10 ast) spearheaded the victory, while five other Pelicans had 13-plus points. Harrison Barnes (30 pts) and Buddy Heild (24 pts, 12 reb) were the Kings’ standouts.
The Kings are a modest 14-17 at home this season, winning six of their last eight. The Pelicans are better on the road than at home, going 15-17 – including five wins in their last seven away.
Besides sporting the same overall win-loss records, the teams are also both 33-29-2 ATS. But the Kings are a poor 12-17-2 at home against the start, while the Pelicans are a handy 17-13-2 on the road ATS.
Lean towards Zion and co., who head in as narrow favourites.
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