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The Kings Lose a Heartbreaker to the Pelicans 117-115

ESPN Radio
January 06, 2020 - 11:34 am

By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320

The final 4.2-seconds of the Pelicans-Kings game on Saturday night was one the most bizarre endings that this reporter has ever seen to an NBA game. Down 115-111, Nemanja Bjelica hit a 26-foot 3-point jump shot with 4.2-seconds left on the clock and was fouled in the act of shooting by the Brandon Ingram.

Bjelica drained the free throw to tie the game at 115-115. New Orleans called a timeout to plot a strategy for their final shot in regulation time.

The Pelicans were able to advance the ball into the frontcourt after the timeout. The ball was inbounded to JJ Redick who drove the lane and put a layup off the glass that went in for the winning score. Two Kings defenders were lying on the floor when the ball went through the hoop, but the officials failed to notice that fact.

The Pelicans (12-24) won the game 117-115.

Luke Walton on the loss

Walton was clear – this game was not lost in the final 4.2-seconds – it was lost in the multiple mistakes that were made earlier in the game:

“Tough way to lose, but the message and the main learning point is that it’s in the details. Again, it was lost with our 21 turnovers – 29 points for 21 turnovers. That’s a problem we have fixed and we have been really good with taking care of the ball. [New Orleans[ is a team that you don’t want to have that problem going because they get out and run and they had 17 fast break points. To me, when we talk about being locked in and playing with that sense of urgency for as close to 48 as possible – I think that’s a sign that for whatever reason, we weren’t [locked in the fourth, they went on a 10-0 run just like that – it was mainly because of our turnovers. Now give them credit – Lonzo [Ball> caught fire in the fourth and they started hitting their shots. On our home court we have to come in and got to build ourselves a little bit of a lead. We got to start the fourth better than that. I thought Harrison [Barnes> had a very solid night stabilizing us tonight, but not good enough for our group.”

The Kings made 21 turnovers and had just 20 assists. The ratio is supposed to two assists to every one turnover. The Pelicans scored 29 points off the 21 Sacramento turnovers.

Sacramento (13-23) could have also helped themselves at the free throw line. The Kings went 27-for-36 (75.0%) from the charity stripe. Converting three more free throws would have won the game for Sacramento.

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry on the final play

“Well, it was to either go to JJ or Jrue [Holiday> – Jrue was coming off a screen and JJ was coming off another screen. I knew that [Derrick> Fav[ors> would get him open. I thought he was going to shoot the shot from the top, but he said they ran at him so hard that he saw an open lane and drove it there and shot a floater. Which, we know if we were quite there with JJ’s floater yet. But he did a great job of getting it high on the board I thought and it went in. Like I said, to me the big thing is that we played the game on the road, which I think was against a very talented team. I know Fox is just getting back and trying to get his legs under him, but they got a lot of great young talent and we were able to find a way to win the game, so that’s the most important thing. All the other things we can correct and we can look at and we can talk about, but just the fact that we persevered and made a basket to win a game – a walk-off basket – was important.”

Top scorers

  • The Kings Harrison Barnes scored a game-high 30 points
  • Lonzo Ball scored a team-high 24 points for the Pelicans
  • All five starters for both teams scored in double figures

Glass cleaners

  • Buddy Hield and Richaun Holmes tied for a game-high 12 rebounds
  • Derrick Favors led the Pelicans with 11 rebounds

Dropping dimes

  • Lonzo Ball made it a double-double game by distributing 10 dimes and scoring 24 points
  • De’Aaron Fox and Cory Joseph each distributed five assists for SAC

Up next

The Kings will host the Golden State Warriors on Monday night at the Golden 1 Center.

New Orleans will host the Utah Jazz on Monday night.

-- PELICANS WIN! -- #WontBowDown

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