PHOENIX SUNS

Pelicans top Kings, clinch first West spot in NBA In-Season Tournament semis

Dec 4, 2023, 10:48 PM | Updated: Dec 5, 2023, 8:15 am

Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans...

Brandon Ingram propels Pelicans' quarterfinal win over Kings. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The New Orleans Pelicans weathered away a slow start, beating the Sacramento Kings 127-117 on the road, punching their ticket to Las Vegas. They’ll play the winner of Tuesday’s Suns-Lakers matchup.

Sacramento opened the game with a 32-17 lead after less than eight minutes, looking poised to take control. New Orleans, however, responded with an 18-4 run to end the first, taking their first lead early in the second quarter.

Kings forward Trey Lyles committed a technical foul midway through the second, pushing Pelicans center Jonas Valančiūnas in the back of the head, cementing what would become a 34-25 second quarter in favor of New Orleans.

The Pelicans maintained their lead the rest of the way as all three other quarters were only within one point either way.

Brandon Ingram, who torched the Suns in the 2022 Western Conference First Round that Phoenix won in six games, led the way for New Orleans with 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting and 3-for-6 from deep in 40 minutes.

All five Pelicans starters scored in double-digits along with 16 points off the bench from Trey Murphy. However, Zion Williamson scored just 10 points in 28 minutes, giving New Orleans another level to go up in the future.

Pelicans utilized an eight-man rotation while Sacramento gave just seven players a meaningful allocation of minutes, giving the quarterfinal a true playoff feel.

De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis led the way for the Kings as they have all year, scoring 30 and 26 points respectively. The latter finished with a triple-double, adding 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

The Pelicans win sets up a trend the Suns will want to follow of the road team coming up victorious in the quarterfinal, which is the lone round played on home courts.

Phoenix Suns

Frank Vogel...

Kevin Zimmerman

Suns’ Frank Vogel talks Kevin Durant’s leadership, Bradley Beal’s injury status

Phoenix Suns coach Frank Vogel discussed Kevin Durant's leadership after Charles Barkley's comments and updated us on Bradley Beal's status.

3 hours ago

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker...

Kellan Olson

How the Suns can certify elite status after the NBA All-Star break

For all the rightful talk about parity in the NBA this season, Vegas is patting that notion on the head and calling it adorable.

4 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Charles Barkley says Kevin Durant is “a follower, not a leader,” and Durant responds

Basketball legend Charles Barkley spoke on Suns forward Kevin Durant, over the All-Star Weekend, and said that Durant is "a follower, not a leader," and that Suns guard Devin Booker needs to step up and be the leader for the team. Burns and Gambo react to Barkley's comments on Durant.

20 hours ago

Thaddeus Young...

Arizona Sports

Thaddeus Young signs with Phoenix Suns after Brooklyn Nets buyout

Veteran forward Thaddeus Young has officially signed with the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, the team announced.

22 hours ago

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker look on...

Dan Bickley

Suns have 27 games to prep before chase for poetic justice begins

Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Suns fans can have a weight lifted if the 2023-24 Phoenix Suns can win an NBA championship this year.

22 hours ago

Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort chats pregame...

Arizona Sports

Arizona Sports’ 2024 Newsmakers Week schedule

Leaders from the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona State Sun Devils and more join Bickley & Marotta.

1 day ago

Pelicans top Kings, clinch first West spot in NBA In-Season Tournament semis