Our Clients:

Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 10, 2024 11:28 pm

Pelicans try to pull away in crowded West, battle Kings

new orleans pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans get to sample possible play-in opponents when they wrap up the regular season with three straight games against Western Conference foes, beginning with a visit to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Thursday night.

The Pelicans (47-32), winners of two in a row, have moved into sixth place in the West. But each remaining opponent has a chance to catch New Orleans by the end of play Sunday.

The Pelicans are on the road against the Golden State Warriors on Friday, then finish the season at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

The Kings (45-34) have the best chance of catching the Pelicans because they will begin Thursday with a better record than the Lakers and Warriors. Sacramento has already lost the season series to New Orleans, dropping four straight games, two at each site.

The teams haven’t met since Jan. 7, when the Pelicans earned a 133-100 road victory playing without Zion Williamson.

Brandon Ingram had 15 points and eight assists in the win. However, Ingram will not be available Thursday, missing his 11th straight game due to a bruised left knee.

It’s possible that Ingram, who recently got the green light to return to on-court workouts, could return Friday at Golden State.

CJ McCollum, who scored 29 points at Portland on Tuesday night, is confident the Pelicans are looking up in the standings, not down.

“The goal is always to get into the playoffs, try to get 50 wins and give ourselves a chance to rest for a few days while other teams play against each other,” he said. “I would love to watch the Lakers and some of those other teams (in play-in games) on the couch while I drink some wine and eat popcorn. That would be a really ideal day for me.”

The Kings’ chances of winning the final game of the season series against the Pelicans and then potentially passing them in the standings involve more than just Ingram’s status. Sacramento has a much more favorable remaining schedule, with three straight home games against the Pelicans, Phoenix Suns on Friday and Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Sacramento also has injury issues, however, with Kevin Huerter suffering a season-ending torn labrum in his left shoulder in mid-March and Malik Monk sustaining a sprained right MCL that is expected to keep him out until May.

The Kings squandered a chance to stay within one game of the Pelicans in the loss column when they blew a 20-point lead in a 112-105 loss at Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Sacramento went 1-3 on its four-game trip that also included losses against the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics.

Kings coach Mike Brown was encouraged that his team played well enough to go up by 20 points on the road against one of the top teams in the West.

“I thought in the first half, our ball movement was beautiful,” Brown said of Tuesday’s loss. “I thought we got bored with it in the second half. … It’s hard when you have a formula of success, to go away from it.”

–Field Level Media

You may also like

Caitlin Clark
Jul 13, 2024 4:09 pm

Fever’s Caitlin Clark set sights on taking down Lynx

Caitlin Clark made a brief confession after she joined the Indiana Fever this year. “I grew up loving the Minnesota Lynx,” Clark said during her introductory news conference. “I probably…

A'ja Wilson
Jul 13, 2024 3:50 pm

A’ja Wilson-led Aces look to remain hot vs. Mystics

The Las Vegas Aces go for a season sweep of the Mystics when they travel to Washington for a Sunday afternoon showdown. Las Vegas (15-7) has won nine of its…

New York Liberty
Jul 13, 2024 3:32 pm

Sabrina Ionescu, Liberty subdue Sky again

Sabrina Ionescu had 28 points as the visiting New York Liberty defeated the Chicago Sky for the second time in three days with an 81-67 decision on Saturday. The Liberty…

More Basketball News

Caitlin Clark
Jul 13, 2024 4:09 pm

Fever’s Caitlin Clark set sights on taking down Lynx

Caitlin Clark made a brief confession after she joined the Indiana Fever this year. “I grew up loving the Minnesota Lynx,” Clark said during her introductory news conference. “I probably…

A'ja Wilson
Jul 13, 2024 3:50 pm

A’ja Wilson-led Aces look to remain hot vs. Mystics

New York Liberty
Jul 13, 2024 3:32 pm

Sabrina Ionescu, Liberty subdue Sky again

kevin durant
Jul 13, 2024 11:11 am

Kevin Durant (calf) misses Team USA practice again

kevin durant
Jul 13, 2024 11:11 am

Kevin Durant (calf) misses Team USA practice again

Read all
fb-post
advertisment
title-icon

Upcoming events

See all odds