Brandon Ingram takes a layup vs. Harrison Barnes

Panzura postgame wrap: Pelicans 117, Kings 110

Pelicans (25-29), Kings (22-32)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

Stan Van Gundy spent part of Sunday’s postgame press conference in Cleveland discussing the need for New Orleans and its two recent All-Star forwards to bring more intensity and focus on defense. In Monday’s win over Sacramento, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram did their usual major damage scoring-wise, but the Pelicans also delivered at the other end of the floor, particularly in the opening 24 minutes.

New Orleans held Sacramento to just 45 first-half points and built a 26-point lead, then withstood a Kings rally in the second half. It was the Pelicans’ third straight triumph, as they continue to gain ground on teams just ahead of them in the Western Conference standings. Williamson and Ingram combined to score 64 points, with each producing at least 30.

The victory gave New Orleans a three-game lead over 12th-place Sacramento, essentially a four-game edge now that the Pelicans clinched the tiebreaker by virtue of a 2-1 season-series win.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Sacramento clawed back to within 114-110 at 0:18 following Harrison Barnes’ three made free throws, but De’Aaron Fox’s subsequent three-point attempt rimmed out, giving Wes Iwundu foul shots at 0:11. He split the pair, then grabbed a clinching defensive rebound after another Kings missed trey.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

In his third game back from injury, Ingram set the tone for New Orleans in the opening few minutes by scoring all of the hosts’ early points. He finished with 34, his best night since he dropped in 36 against the Lakers on March 23. The Pelicans are 9-3 in the last 12 games in which both Ingram and Williamson play.

“I love playing with Brandon,” Williamson said on postgame radio, when asked about the two forwards totaling 64 points. “He’s a great player. I think we complement each other very well. When it’s time to win, we both know what we’ve got to do.”

BY THE NUMBERS

10: Third-quarter turnovers by New Orleans, a key in Sacramento holding a 29-18 scoring edge in that period.

2: Times the Pelicans have swept a back-to-back this season. The previous instance was Feb. 5-6 in games at Indiana and vs. Houston.

8: New Orleans games in the last 12 days. "That's a grueling schedule," Van Gundy said of the stretch. "I think that showed in the second half also (with New Orleans dropping off in performance, allowing Sacramento to rally)."

REVISITING THREE KEYS TO VICTORY PRESENTED BY FANDUEL

DEFENSE ON DE’AARON

The best thing you can say about New Orleans vs. De’Aaron Fox this season is that the Pelicans won two of the three games. Sacramento’s point guard was phenomenal again facing the Crescent City. After scoring 43 and 38 points in the first two games vs. New Orleans, the Kentucky product had 43 again Monday. His career high is 44.

MARSHALL PLAN

In the second game of a back-to-back, the Pelicans brought plenty of energy, one of the hallmarks of rookie Naji Marshall’s game. In a surprise, Marshall came off the bench Monday, with Wes Iwundu moving into the starting five.

ROYAL RUMBLE

Sacramento center Richaun Holmes’ impact was minimized by him exiting the game with an injury after logging just 16 minutes. New Orleans dominated the rebounding battle 51-34 and won points in the paint 60-50, which actually was a smaller margin than normal for the Pelicans lately.

Pelicans vs. Kings Slo-Mo Highlights 4/12/21

Watch slow motion highlights from the New Orleans Pelicans home victory over the Sacramento Kings in Game 54 of the 2020-21 NBA regular season.

2020-21 Game #54: Pelicans vs. Kings

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Pelicans vs. Kings Slo-Mo Highlights 4/12/21

Watch slow motion highlights from the New Orleans Pelicans home victory over the Sacramento Kings in Game 54 of the 2020-21 NBA regular season.
Apr 13, 2021  |  01:00

Pelicans- Kings Postgame Interview: Brandon Ingram 4-12-21

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram recaps the Pelicans' win against the Sacramento Kings on April 12, 2021.
Apr 12, 2021  |  04:23

Pelicans- Kings Postgame Interview: Stan Van Gundy 4-12-21

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy recaps the Pelicans' win against the Sacramento Kings on April 12, 2021.
Apr 12, 2021  |  12:02

Pelicans- Kings Postgame Interview: Eric Bledsoe 4-12-21

New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Bledsoe recaps the Pelicans' win against the Sacramento Kings on April 12, 2021.
Apr 12, 2021  |  03:34

Zion Williamson scores 30 points | Pelicans-Kings Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson notches 30 points in the team's 117-110 win over the Kings on Monday night.
Apr 12, 2021  |  01:56

Brandon Ingram pours in 34 points | Pelicans-Kings Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram scores 34 points in the team's 117-110 win over the Kings on Monday night.
Apr 12, 2021  |  01:55

Pelicans On-Court Postgame Interview: Brandon Ingram vs. Kings 4-12-21

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram talks about the team's performance in the win over the Sacramento Kings on April 12, 2021.
Apr 12, 2021  |  02:35

Kira Lewis Jr. steal and slam | Pelicans-Kings Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans guard Kira Lewis Jr. creates the turnover and finishes with the dunk on the offensive end.
Apr 12, 2021  |  00:11

Zion Williamson assist to Jaxson Hayes | Pelicans-Kings Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson finds Jaxson Hayes for the basket plus the foul.
Apr 12, 2021  |  00:11

Zion Williamson soars for the slam | Pelicans-Kings Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson takes flight for the one-handed slam.
Apr 12, 2021  |  00:17

Steven Adams one-handed slam | Pelicans-Kings Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans center Steven Adams throws down the one-handed slam off the Eric Bledsoe assist.
Apr 12, 2021  |  00:19

Jaxson Hayes alley-oop | Pelicans-Kings Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes extends for the alley-oop slam off the Naji Marshall assist.
Apr 12, 2021  |  00:10

Brandon Ingram And-1 | Pelicans-Kings Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram drives to the basket and converts the And-1 score.
Apr 12, 2021  |  00:25

Zion Williamson put-back slam | Pelicans -Kings Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson collects the offensive rebound and slams it home.
Apr 12, 2021  |  00:12

Brandon Ingram bucket | Pelicans-Kings Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram uses the pump fake to create space and knock down the mid-range jumper.
Apr 12, 2021  |  00:09

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