Omri Casspi scores 22 points as Kings beat Pelicans; win third straight

The Kings were without both Rudy Gay and Darren Collison. Omri Casspi and Ramon Sessions got the start. On the other side Eric Gordon is out with a torn labrum and Darius Miller got the start for the Pelicans.

The Pelicans scored the first basket but then the Kings got hot. Sacramento opened the game on a 19-4 run. They were led by DeMarcus Cousins, Ben McLemore and Casspi. Last week in their previous meeting McLemore was held to two points; he had seven in the first quarter.

For the Pelicans Jrue Holiday was more aggressive to start the game, scoring six points and grabbing two rebounds. Anthony Davis continues to impress with his skillset. On one possession Cousins tried to save a ball and threw it right to Davis, he then went down the court with three dribbles, protected the ball while going past two defenders and finished the layup. It sounds simple but watching a power forward do it is impressive.

Davis had five points and three rebounds in the quarter. The Kings defense did a good and held the Pelicans to only 16 points.

The second quarter was a different story for the Pelicans. Their bench came in and went on a 13-2 run early in the quarter. Ryan Anderson led the way with 9 points in the quarter.

The Kings could not put together many stops and got frustrated during the Pelicans run. Kings’ coach Mike Malone picked up two technical fouls and got ejected after complaining about a non-call.

The Pelicans outscored the Kings 14-9 after the ejection to tie the game at 49 going into the half. They were able to hold the Kings to 22 points while scoring 33. Anthony Davis went into the half with nine points and five rebounds while DeMarcus Cousins had eight points and five rebounds.

After only taking four free throws in the entire first half, the Kings got to the free throw line 10 times in the third quarter, hitting nine of them. DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi combined to score the first 17 points for the Kings. Cousins finished with 10 points and four rebounds in the quarter.

The Pelicans made their first three shots to start the quarter and then hit a wall. After tying the game on some Tyreke Evans free throws the Pelicans went on a scoring drought. Over the next four minutes the Kings went on a 7-0 run.

Anthony Davis did not have any impact plays during the quarter as the Pelicans still trailed after three quarters.

With a five point lead going into the fourth quarter the Kings bench unit did a great job preserving the lead.  They extended the lead to nine points before a Kings starter re-entered the game. The Kings won the game 99-89.

Omri Casspi was the difference in the game. He came in averaging 7.3 ppg and scored 22 points on 14 shots. He ran the floor well and moved great without the ball in the half court.

DeMarcus Cousins outplayed Anthony Davis. Davis struggled from the field shooting 4-12, he finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Cousins had his seventh straight double-double finishing with 22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.

Ryan Anderson came off the bench to score 20 points and Tyreke Evans led the Pelicans with 22 points.

Next up for the Kings on the road is the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Next up for the Pelicans on the road is the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.