Top Home Games of 2013-14: No. 20 vs. SAC

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 7 p.m.

Other 2013-14 games between these two teams
Monday, Dec. 23, New Orleans at Sacramento
Monday, March 3, New Orleans at Sacramento
Monday, March 31, Sacramento at New Orleans

Why it’s on the list
At the exact midway point of the 2013-14 regular season for the Pelicans, this Western Conference matchup will be highlighted by numerous tie-ins between the two clubs.

One of the summer’s biggest acquisitions for New Orleans was high-scoring wing Tyreke Evans, a player very familiar with the Kings. Evans spent the first four seasons of his NBA career in Sacramento, a tenure that was highlighted by his Rookie of the Year award in 2009-10. The Memphis product averaged 17.5 points over 257 career games with Sacramento, almost exactly the same as his scoring average vs. New Orleans (17.3) in 13 head-to-head matchups.

Jan. 21 will also mark point guard Greivis Vasquez’s first return trip to New Orleans after he played for the then-Hornets in each of the past two seasons. Sacramento has three other notable connections to New Orleans in guard Marcus Thornton (also a Baton Rouge native and LSU product), forward Carl Landry and Coach Michael Malone. Malone was an assistant coach under Monty Williams in 2010-11, New Orleans’ most recent playoff-qualifying season.

What’s new in Sacramento
There are plenty of new faces, but the most exciting change in 2013-14 for the Kings has to be the stability that’s come with new owner Vivek Ranadive, who is keeping the franchise in Sacramento. A cloud of uncertainty has hung over the Kings in recent years, but the team now has concrete plans to build an arena in California’s capital city by 2017. On the court, Sacramento’s most impactful additions were Vasquez, Landry and lottery draft pick Ben McLemore, a shooting guard from Kansas.