Kings Takeaways: What We Learned in the Kings' Loss to the Pelicans


No luck in the Big Easy. The Sacramento Kings played a highly competitive 20 minutes of basketball Friday evening at Smoothie King Center, but in the NBA, you have to play a full 48. 

The New Orleans Pelicans hit the gas pedal and ran the Kings off the court from the late second quarter on, picking up a 149-129 win in their home opener. 

For the second straight game, Sacramento struggled on the defensive end, allowing New Orleans to torch them for 58.9 percent shooting from the field and 51.6 percent from 3-point range. 

Nikola Mirotic and Anthony Davis put up huge numbers, but it was a team effort as eight players scored in double figures for the Pelicans. 

Willie Cauley-Stein scored over 20 for the second straight game and four others scored 17 or more for Sacramento.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings start 0-2 on the season. 

Mirotic is on fire

Sacramento knew slowing down Davis was paramount to have a chance against the Pelicans in the opener. Davis was good, but Mirotic was unstoppable. The smooth-shooting stretch four went off for career-high 36 points on 14 of 21 from the field and 5 of 9 from long range. He added nine rebounds in the blowout win for New Orleans.

Welcome to the NBA, Marvin Bagley III  

After Bagley played just 12 minutes in the opener, Kings head coach Dave Joerger went to the rookie early in the first quarter and he went to work. The 19-year-old aggressively attacked Davis and his Pelicans teammates, as Bagley hit his first five shots on the way to 14 points before the break. He didn't find the same success in the second half, but it was a productive night for the rookie as he set new career highs with 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 32 minutes.

Fox is answering the call 

The second-year pro continued his strong play. In the opener he managed to drop in 21 points and dish out seven assists. Fox backed that up with 18 points, six assists and six rebounds in 26 minutes of action in New Orleans. The 20-year-old is brimming with confidence and showing that he's ready to take a leap in his sophomore season.  

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