Published January 08, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Sacramento Kings were able to put a few disappointing losses behind them the last time out and will resume a three- game homestand Tuesday versus the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Kings had dropped three in a row following a promising 5-1 start and even filed a protest with the NBA over a last-second loss to Memphis on Thursday, when Courtney Lee's layup off an inbounds pass at the buzzer gave the Grizzlies a 111-110 win.
Sacramento believes time expired before Lee's basket with 0.3 seconds remaining. Under protest procedures in the NBA, Memphis and Sacramento each will have an opportunity to submit evidence in support of its position and the protest will be decided by Dec. 2.
In the opener of their homestand on Saturday, the Kings got over the loss to Memphis and handed the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs a 94-91 defeat at Sleep Train Arena. DeMarcus Cousins scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half and pulled down 10 rebounds, while Darren Collison and Rudy Gay scored 19 and 18 points, respectively.
The Spurs trailed by 10 at one point in the fourth quarter and grabbed an 88-87 lead with two minutes to go. Sacramento then scored five straight points to go ahead, 93-88, with about 20 seconds left. Spurs veteran reserve Manu Ginobili buried a 3-pointer for a 93-91 score, but the Kings held on.
Even though they missed all 12 of their 3-point attempts, the Kings recorded 19 assists and turned the ball over just nine times. The Kings also had a decided 58-34 advantage in points in the paint.
"They're the best in the league, you know?," Kings forward Omri Casspi said of the Spurs. "Obviously after having two tough losses on the road, to come back home and see a (sold) out arena. The fans trust us, and we had to deliver."
Sacramento is 6-4 after 10 games and was 3-7 last season.
The Kings are 3-1 at home and will host Chicago on Thursday.
In injury news for Sacramento, leading scorer Gay (22.5 ppg) is questionable with a sore Achilles. Gay recently agreed to a three-year contract extension.
The Pelicans are coming off Monday's 102-93 loss at Portland and had prevailed in two straight and four of the previous five games. Anthony Davis finished with 31 points on 14-of-20 shooting, grabbed 11 boards and blocked three shots.
Jrue Holiday had 14 points, Tyreke Evans 13 and Ryan Anderson added 12 points for a Pelicans squad that broke down in the fourth quarter. They were outscored 34-13 in the decisive period and shot 44.7 percent, one game after making 66.7 percent from the field in a 139-91 blowout win versus Minnesota.
New Orleans made only 4-of-24 shots in the fourth quarter.
"Our fourth-quarter execution was about as bad as it's been all year long," Pelicans coach Monty Williams told the team's website. "Our shot selection in the fourth quarter, our execution in the fourth quarter, led to (Portland) being in transition. It wasn't about missing shots; I just don't think we had the next-level stuff that we talk about all the time. For us to be a good team, we've got to know when the moment arises. We've got to be a better- executing team when it counts."
The Pelicans are in the midst of playing four straight and nine of 11 games on the road, and are 1-3 outside the Big Easy.
Sacramento took three of four meetings with New Orleans last season and is 25-10 all-time at home in this series.