Postgame wrap: Pelicans 149, Kings 129

by Jim Eichenhofer


Pelicans (2-0), Kings (0-2)

After posting one of the NBA’s most impressive opening-week victories Wednesday in Houston, the task Friday for New Orleans was to back up that performance by showing similar intensity and execution, while facing a much less hyped opponent. Mission accomplished – and then some.

The Pelicans methodically wore down the Kings with a relentless offensive eruption, topping 30-plus points in every quarter, leading to a franchise record for points in a game. Sacramento couldn’t keep up, overwhelmed by an avalanche of offense. For a second straight game, New Orleans’ high-powered frontcourt trio ran roughshod over the opposition, piling up fantasy basketball-friendly numbers.


Darius Miller connected on another one of his patented four-point plays from long range, as New Orleans built a 25-point lead in the waning minutes of the third quarter. The Pelicans later went up by as many as 28 and started subbing in deep reserves midway through the final period, such as Jahlil Okafor and Frank Jackson.


Nikola Mirotic poured in 30 points on national TV at Houston, then delivered an even better output Friday by dropping in a career-best 36 points. Mirotic was so hot in the second half that the crowd began chanting “Ni-ko! Ni-ko!” as he continued to bury deep jumpers. The forward shot 5/9 on three-pointers against the Kings, nearly matching his 6/8 outing vs. the Rockets.

Mirotic: “I just felt great, very confident. My teammates did a great job of finding me. It was just one of those nights where you feel like every shot you take is going to go in.”


ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups is one of the most respected people in the sport – as was the case when he was a player – but he may need to rethink his opinion on Thursday’s edition of “The Jump” that New Orleans’ three bigs will never repeat the 87 combined points they scored Wednesday in another game. In only their second game together Friday, they approached that number again, totaling 74 points. In fact, they probably would’ve surpassed it, if not for the large margin on the scoreboard, which led to Anthony Davis (25 points, 10 rebounds) sitting out the entire fourth period, after only logging 27 minutes. Whether you call each of them power forwards or centers, New Orleans has showed incredibly positive signs in the frontcourt through two games, with Davis, Mirotic and Julius Randle (13 points, 14 rebounds in just 24 minutes) dominating at every turn.

Davis has seemingly added a new wrinkle to his game, now setting up teammates for open looks on a much more frequent basis. He dished out six assists vs. Sacramento, after handing out eight in Houston. His average of 7.0 is triple the 2.3 he averaged in ’17-18.

“I'm just trying to get my teammates involved,” Davis said on postgame radio. “When (defenses) come double-team, I'm finding the open guy. That's what Houston tried to do, and I was able to pick them apart. Tonight, (I was) just finding guys in transition. That’s the next step, trying to make my teammates better, then (my) shots will come. When it’s time for me to score, I’ll score. It’s about getting these guys involved and getting their confidence up.”


71, 60, 72, 77: Point totals for New Orleans in the four halves it has played, respectively.

8: Consecutive quarters that the Pelicans have topped 30 points, a team record.

21/33: As staggering as New Orleans’ scoring output was, the hosts actually struggled at the foul line, missing a dozen times. The Pelicans also had 16 turnovers, but at the pace they are playing, they’re still able to keep the scoreboard operator extremely busy.

Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic Top Plays vs. Sacramento Kings

Check out the best highlights from Pelicans Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic in New Orleans' 149-129 win against the Kings.

Game 2: Pelicans vs. Kings 10/19/18

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Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic Top Plays vs. Sacramento Kings

Check out the best highlights from Pelicans Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic in New Orleans' 149-129 win against the Kings.
Oct 19, 2018  |  00:00

Pelicans vs. Kings Postgame: Head Coach Alvin Gentry 10-19-18

Head Coach Alvin Gentry speaks to the media following the Pelicans' big home opener win against the Sacramento Kings.
Oct 19, 2018  |  03:16

Pelicans vs. Kings Postgame: Nikola Mirotic 10-19-18

Nikola Mirotic talks about his career night against the Sacramento Kings.
Oct 19, 2018  |  01:34

Pelicans vs. Kings Postgame: Anthony Davis 10-19-18

Anthony Davis talks about the franchise-record night for the Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center.
Oct 19, 2018  |  06:08

Nikola Mirotic racks up 36 points vs. Sacramento Kings

Pelicans Nikola Mirotic led New Orleans with 36 points in their 149-129 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Oct 19, 2018  |  00:00

Anthony Davis scores 25 points against the Sacramento Kings

Pelicans Anthony Davis racks up 25 points and 10 rebounds against the Sacramento Kings.
Oct 19, 2018  |  00:00

New Orleans Pelicans drain 7 three-pointers in the fourth quarter vs. Sacramento Kings

The Pelicans were hot from beyond the arc late in their contest against the Kings.
Oct 19, 2018  |  00:00

Heat Check: Nikola Mirotic on fire in the fourth quarter

Pelicans Nikola Mirotic heats up beyond the arc against the Sacramento Kings, knocking down four triples in the fourth quarter.
Oct 19, 2018  |  00:50

Miller Completes the Four-Point Play

Pelicans Darius Miller drills a shot from beyond the arc and picks up the foul against the Sacramento Kings.
Oct 19, 2018  |  00:15

Davis Defense Leads to Mirotic And-One

Pelicans Anthony Davis comes up with the block on defense which leads to a Nikola Mirotic drive and score.
Oct 19, 2018  |  00:29

Davis One-Hand Slam

Pelicans Anthony Davis rises up and stretches out for the one-handed alley-oop slam on the assist from Jrue Holiday against the Sacramento Kings.
Oct 19, 2018  |  00:20

Anthony Davis skies for the big oop

Pelicans Anthony Davis hammers home the alley-oop slam against the Sacramento Kings.
Oct 19, 2018  |  00:00

Mirotic Hoop & Harm

Pelicans Nikola Mirotic goes up strong and draws the foul against the Kings.
Oct 19, 2018  |  00:00

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