SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Zion Williamson had 31 points and six rebounds, Steven Adams made a pair of clutch free throws with 17.9 seconds remaining, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 43-point performance by Sacramento’s De'Aaron Fox and beat the Kings 128-123 Sunday night.
Brandon Ingram scored 22 points, Eric Bledsoe added 21 and Adams had 12 points and 15 rebounds to help the Pelicans end a five-game losing streak.
“We were just making pretty good plays, forcing them into shots that we wanted them to take,” Adams said. “Fox played really well. We had a problem with him, but other than that, we were just being super aggressive.”
Fox, who was limited to 14 points in a 38-point loss to the Clippers two nights earlier, had a career-high point total and 13 assists for the Kings, who have lost eight of 10.
🔥 Career-high 43 points
👀 13 assists
💨 4 steals
HUGE game for @swipathefox. pic.twitter.com/YqzJN9zahQ
— NBA (@NBA) January 18, 2021
New Orleans led by 19 points in the first half before the Kings made a late run. Marvin Bagley made a 3-pointer and Fox followed with a one-handed dunk that cut the deficit to 116-115.
Adams and Williamson made two free throws apiece for the Pelicans and Bledsoe scored in the paint to make it 122-115.
After the Kings scored on back-to-back trips down the court, Adams made two more free throws and JJ Reddick added a pair, helping the Pelicans hang on.
Williamson fell one point shy of his season-high for scoring. The Pelicans’ big man made 13 of 15 attempts and spent much of the fourth quarter on the bench in foul trouble.
“He finds his way to the rim regardless of the defense and he’s a good finisher,” New Orleans coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He probably should shoot twice as many free throws as he does. He’s not even getting calls and he’s efficient.”
Bagley finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento. Richaun Holmes had 16 points and seven rebounds.
“I was very pleased to see us get our fight back tonight. That’s how we were playing earlier in the year and we were winning games,” Kings coach Luke Walton said. “They made plays down the stretch and we missed some opportunities down the stretch.”
Fox became the first player in the Kings’ Sacramento era to have 40 or more points and 10-plus assists in one game. Nate `Tiny’ Archibald was the last player in franchise history to accomplish that feat, doing it in 1973 when the team played in Kansas City and Omaha.
“There’s more, offensively and defensively, that I’m able to do,” Fox said. “We lost on a career high (for me) so it doesn’t really matter.”
The Kings problems on defense continue. Over the last three games they allowed the Trail Blazers to match a franchise record for 3-pointers, then let the Clippers and Pelicans set season-highs for scoring. Sacramento has given up 122 points or more in eight consecutive games.