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The New Orleans Pelicans (31-45) face the Sacramento Kings (37-37) on Thursday at 8:00 PM ET. The last time these teams met, December 23rd 2018, Sacramento Kings beat 122-117 (Hield: 28 pts; Cauley-Stein: 22 pts, 17 reb).
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New Orleans Pelicans Preview
New Orleans is looking to snap their 3 game losing streak after losing to the Atlanta Hawks, 130 – 120; Young: 33 points, 12 assists. The Pelicans enter this contest with a 1-9 record in their last 10 games and a 18-19 mark at home. Julius Randle led the Pelicans in scoring against their last opponent, the hawks. He contributed with 24 points, 5 assists, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 three with 6 turnovers in 33 minutes. Randle shot 7 for 13 in the game, hitting 53.8% of his attempts from the field (9/11 from the line, 1/4 from three-point range).
The Pelicans have climbed the rankings this season in assists per game (#3), points per game (#3) and field goal percentage (#5). The team needs work on three point percentage (#24), turnovers per game (#24) and free throw percentage (#19).
Pelicans Betting Trends
In the last 6 games, the Pelicans have gone 1-5 with an average point differential of -11. Against the spread, their record is 1-5, with an average pre-game line of 5.7 and an average -5.3 against the spread.
They have beat the Over/Under 3 times in this two-week span, while falling under 3 times. The Pelicans’ Over/Under lines have averaged 232.3 in the past two weeks and their games have resulted in an Over/Under average of 5.8.Jackson has started nine straight games for the Pelicans, averaging 17.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 34.0 minutes. However, his workload will have to be replaced for Thursday’s game and possibly beyond. Beneficiaries could include Ian Clark, Dairis Bertans and Stanley Johnson.The ninth-place Kings will try to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive when they visit the Pelicans on Thursday night.
Sacramento (37-37) has won three of its last four games, including a 125-121 victory at Dallas on Tuesday night. But the Kings’ chances of catching San Antonio, Oklahoma City or Utah for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference are very slim.
Sacramento was 5 1/2 games out of a playoff spot heading into the start of NBA play Wednesday, with eight games remaining. Even if the Kings win all eight games, the odds are still long. But it will not diminish the positive vibe the young Kings have created.
“The potential is crazy,” Kings forward Harrison Barnes told the Sacramento Bee. “To see these guys in their first, second year — just kind of playing with so much heart, so much passion, definitely eager to learn — I’m excited to be with this group (and) compete alongside these guys.
“We’re looking at next year. This year, obviously, things came together late with the roster and that type of stuff, but we’re competing. We’re battling. Every single time we step on the floor, that’s another time that, hopefully, we’re progressing in the right direction and building something.”
Barnes joined Sacramento just prior to the trade deadline in a deal with Dallas that sent Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph to the Mavericks.
The Pelicans (31-45) have lost nine of their last 10 games, although they too have gotten some encouraging performances from young players.
Christian Wood, playing in his second game since being claimed off waivers, had a career-high 23 points, making 7 of 9 field goals, and had nine rebounds, six blocks and three steals in a 130-120 home loss against Atlanta on Tuesday.
“I definitely think I got a chance and I definitely think I made the most of it,” Wood said. “I said at the beginning of the season that all I need is a chance and I’m taking advantage of the opportunity.”
“You’ve just got to be professional,” forward Julius Randle said. “You go about your job the right way, try to do the right things every day, play the right way. You try to let the rest take care of itself. I think the big thing for us is to keep playing hard, keep playing together, and we can live with the results.”
Sacramento and New Orleans have split their first two meetings this season. The Pelicans won 149-129 on Oct. 19 at New Orleans and the Kings won 122-117 on Dec. 23 at Sacramento.