The New Orleans Pelicans overcame a huge performance by DeMarcus Cousins to knock off the Sacramento Kings 101-95 in Sleep Train Arena on Friday night.
Cousins had his second triple-double in as many games with 24 points, 20 rebounds and 13 assists to go along with four blocked shots, but it wasn’t enough to offset a terrific performance from the New Orleans’ starters who combined to score 82 points.
Eric Gordon led the way for the Pelicans offense with 21 points on the strength of a 4-for-8 shooting performance from beyond the arc. Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans also made huge contributions in the win. Davis finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds three assists and two blocks while Evans just missed out on a triple-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. Quincy Pondexter added 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting from 3-point land while Norris Cole had 10 points off the bench.
Cousins had plenty of help on the offensive end in the loss. Omri Casspi finished with 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the floor while Ben McLemore also added 17 points. Ray McCallum managed 14 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor to go along with four rebounds and three assists, while Derrick Williams chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
With the win, the Pelicans closed the gap in the race for eighth place in the Western Conference to just a half game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Memphis Grizzlies helped out the Pelicans with a 100-92 win over the Thunder on Friday night.
Jimmer Fredette did not play in the victory. It is the fourth time in five games where he did not see action. Chances of Fredette of getting any more meaningful minutes this season are very slim, thanks to the acquisitions of Cole and Toney Douglas. The two combined to play 27 minutes against the Kings and totaled 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting with two rebounds, one assist and a steal.
Next up for the Pelicans is a match up with the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. The Blazers currently sit in the fourth position in the Western Conference with a Northwest division leading record of 49-26. It will be a very difficult game for the Pelicans since Portland is tough to beat at home. They are tied for the third best home record in the league at 30-8.
All-stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard carry the load for the Blazers. Aldridge is averaging 23.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists while Lillard puts up 21 points 6.3 assists, and 4.3 rebounds a night.