Missing three starters, Pelicans band together to crush Kings

Trey Murphy III scored a season-high 30 points and the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Sacramento Kings 136-104 in a battle of short-handed teams Sunday night.

The Pelicans played without three starters – Zion Williamson (hamstring), Brandon Ingram (toe soreness) and Jonas Valanciunas (quad soreness) – and all 11 players that participated scored as the team won its second game in two nights after a 10-game losing streak.

They ended the streak with a 131-126 victory against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday and the win against the Kings gave them consecutive victories for the first time since completing a five-game winning streak on Dec. 30.

CJ McCollum added 24 points, Willy Hernangomez had 22 points and 16 rebounds, Naji Marshall scored 17, Kira Lewis Jr. had 11 and Larry Nance Jr. 10 in New Orleans’ highest-scoring game of the season.

Malik Monk scored 16, Domantas Sabonis had 12 points and 11 rebounds, Trey Lyles scored 12 points and Davion Mitchell, Kevin Huerter and Keon Ellis added 10 each to lead the Kings, who played without leading scorer De’Aaron Fox for a second consecutive game due to personal reasons. Sacramento fell to 2-3 on its season-long seven-game road trip.

Murphy scored 15 points during the first 7 1/2 minutes of the third quarter as New Orleans expanded its 18-point halftime lead to 96-62. The Pelicans went on to hand the Kings their most lopsided loss of the season.

Marshall scored nine points and McCollum had seven as New Orleans took a 26-12 lead.

The Kings heated up and Terence Davis made consecutive layups to complete their scoring as they trimmed the deficit to 34-26 at the end of the first quarter.

Sacramento scored the first six points of the second quarter before Murphy hit two 3-pointers and Lewis had a 3-pointer and a three-point play to give the Pelicans a 52-40 lead.

The Kings pulled within nine before New Orleans took its biggest lead of the half at 20 points on three occasions before holding a 70-52 halftime lead.


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