Behind the Numbers presented by HUB International: Pelicans at Kings (3/7/18)

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

A look at three key numbers related to Wednesday’s game at Golden 1 Center between New Orleans and Sacramento (9 p.m. Central, Fox Sports New Orleans, WRNO 99.5 FM):

126.1: New Orleans average points per game during its nine-game winning streak. Incredibly, despite losing NBA top-10 scorer DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending injury in late January, the Pelicans have been the league’s most prolific offensive team over the past month. New Orleans (37-26) began its active streak Feb. 10 at Brooklyn by piling up 138 points in a double-overtime affair and has tallied at least 118 points in every game since then, including 120-plus five times in non-OT games. A reduction in turnovers has been a major help, with New Orleans attempting 100.4 shots from the field per game (next-most in the league since Feb. 10 is Brooklyn’s 91.6). The Pelicans are No. 1 in the NBA in pace during the streak by a fairly significant margin, averaging 107.37 possessions per 48 minutes (Phoenix is next at 105.42).

37.7: Anthony Davis scoring average during the nine-game winning streak, nearly double the longest the Pelicans have compiled during his six-year NBA career. The five-time All-Star has put up astronomical numbers across the board, including pulling down 14.6 boards a night, along with averaging 3.0 steals and 2.8 blocks. For good measure, he’s shooting 53.2 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from three-point range, boosted markedly by canning four three-pointers Tuesday against the Clippers. He getting to the foul line nearly 10 times a game, shooting 85.4 percent. His two makes in the final seconds at Staples Center iced the victory over Los Angeles.

112.0: Sacramento points per game in three matchups vs. New Orleans this season, including a pair of wins, both in the Smoothie King Center. One of the NBA’s least experienced teams beyond grizzled veterans Zach Randolph and Vince Carter, Sacramento (20-44, 12th place in Western Conference) is also the worst-rated offensive club in the league, scoring just 101.3 points per 100 possessions, via NBA.com. Those offensive woes have mostly gone away while facing the Pelicans this season, however, with the Kings putting up at least 106 points in every meeting. Even in the single New Orleans triumph over Sacramento, on Oct. 26 in Northern California, the Pelicans were forced to rally from a 70-56 halftime deficit. Cousins put up 41 points, 23 rebounds and six assists to help bring New Orleans back from what otherwise would’ve been a 1-4 start to the regular season. Sacramento has relied on a fairly well-balanced attack to compete with New Orleans head-to-head; Zach Randolph is the only Kings player to contribute a 20-point game against the Pelicans in 2017-18.