National Basketball Association
Preview
Sacramento at New Orleans
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, March 27, 2015
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Sacramento Kings look to continue playing the spoiler and win their fifth straight game to match a season high when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. The Kings have knocked off playoff-bound Washington along with postseason hopefuls Charlotte and Phoenix during their recent surge. New Orleans has dropped four straight games, including a rough 95-93 decision against Houston on Wednesday, to fall 3 1/2 games behind eighth-place Oklahoma City in the Western Conference.

The Pelicans have managed 100 points just once in their last five games while leading scorers Tyreke Evans and Anthony Davis missed three contests combined with injuries. Davis (shoulder) is probable and will have to battle inside against DeMarcus Cousins, who has averaged 25.7 points and 11.7 rebounds the last three games. “We took a lot of hits through the season,” Cousins told reporters of Sacramento’s streak. “This is going to be a positive point for us.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN California (Sacramento), FSN New Orleans

ABOUT THE KINGS (26-45): Cousins led seven players in double figures with 24 points in the 108-99 victory at Phoenix on Wednesday as the starting lineup shot a combined 51.8 percent from the field. Cousins averages 23.8 points and 12.3 rebounds overall while Rudy Gay scores 20.9 per contest – 24.2 during the month of March. Guard Nik Stauskas, the eighth overall pick in the 2014 draft, scored 13 against Phoenix and has drained 6-of-12 from behind the 3-point arc over his last four outings.

ABOUT THE PELICANS (37-34): New Orleans was outscored 59-36 in the middle two quarters against Houston, erasing a 15-point lead after the first 12 minutes, and its rally came up just short. Davis came out of the game Wednesday briefly with an apparent shoulder injury, but returned to finish with 24 points and 14 rebounds while Tyreke Evans scored 28. The Pelicans will need more from others with their third and fourth-leading scorers – Jrue Holiday (leg) and Ryan Anderson (knee) – out.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. New Orleans G Norris Cole is averaging 10.1 points in 17 games since being acquired from Miami, where he averaged 6.3.

2. Sacramento G Ben McLemore, who shoots 35.8 percent from 3-point range on the season, has drained 8-of-15 from behind the arc in the last four games.

3. The Kings have won four of the last five meetings, including a 99-89 triumph in New Orleans on Nov. 25.

PREDICTION: Pelicans 101, Kings 100

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Sacramento 26-45 W4 16-21 10-24 3-4 23-41 5-9 15-26
New Orleans 37-34 L4 23-13 14-21 4-4 33-30 7-6 21-20
Last Meeting
Sacramento New Orleans
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/25/14 SAC 99 NO 89 99 38 48.1 89 40 41.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Sacramento O. Casspi 22 64.3 3
New Orleans T. Evans 22 58.8 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Sacramento D. Cousins 12 3 9
New Orleans A. Davis 9 2 7
Assists Player  
Sacramento R. Sessions 6
New Orleans T. Evans 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Sacramento R. Gay 1431 44.9 342
New Orleans A. Davis 1511 54.7 334
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Sacramento D. Cousins 708 172 536
New Orleans O. Asik 703 221 482
Assists Player  
Sacramento D. Collison 281
New Orleans T. Evans 454
Quickchart Matchup
Sacramento Off vs  New Orleans Defense
101.3 Points For
98.9 Points Against
45.1 FG%
45.6 FG%
44.5 Reb
41.5 Reb
New Orleans Off vs  Sacramento Defense
99.2 Points For
105.0 Points Against
45.6 FG%
45.6 FG%
41.5 Reb
40.5 Reb