NEW ORLEANS (AP) Brandon Ingram hit all five of his 3-pointers and led all scorers with 31 points, and Zion Williamson dominated the paint by scoring 26 points on 12-for-16 shooting to power the New Orleans Pelicans to a 129-93 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

“Tonight was a glimpse of what we could be,” said New Orleans coach Willie Green, who was especially pleased with the Pelicans’ season-high 38 assists. “Z (Williamson) and B.I. (Ingram) are capable of doing this, night in and night out. It’s good to see them continue to grow and play off each other.”

Ingram said his offensive synergy with Williamson will continue to grow as the two stars get more playing time together. Injuries have short-circuited that in the last three seasons.

“It’s just communication,” Ingram said. “If somebody has it going, you’re going to let him keep going. I got it going (in the third quarter). There’s enough time on the basketball clock, and it’s being patient and getting the best shot on the floor. We both have time to attack and play with each other.”

The Pelicans trailed 47-43 midway through the second quarter and used a 44-10 scoring outburst spanning the second and third quarters to build an 87-57 lead.

Harrison Barnes scored 16 points and De’Aaron Fox 14 for Pacific Division-leading Sacramento. Fox and Donatus Sabonis, who finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, did not play in the fourth quarter.

Fox refused to place blame on the Kings playing the second game of a back-to-back after a 129-113 win at Dallas on Sunday.

“I mean, pull nothing from this," he said. "Back-to-backs are normal. We just didn’t have a good game. Credit to them. They came out, they had a good game, and we just played bad. But, at the end of the day, you have games like this, you try to throw that away, and we see them again in two days. So (we’re) just trying to prepare for that one.”

Keegan Murray injured his lower back and did not play in the second half. Guard Chris Duarte sustained a left hand injury and did not return for the Kings.

“From the start to the end, they kicked our behind,” Sacramento coach Mike Brown said. “We did not show any resistance at all, no matter who we threw out there. Zion was a ... man tonight, and we had no answers for him at all. Obviously, Brandon Ingram got hot in the second half, but … we couldn’t do anything with Zion tonight.”

Ingram had 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting, including all four of his 3s, as New Orleans outscored Sacrament 34-16 third quarter and snapped the Kings’ six-game winning streak.

Williamson, who missed Saturday’s game against Minnesota for rest, had 18 points in the second quarter, shooting 8 for 11 as the Pelicans outscored the Kings 37-22 to take a 66-53 halftime lead.

While Ingram struck from the outside, Williamson did his damage inside on drives to his left against an overloaded Sacramento defense that couldn’t handle him.

“It’s definitely a lot of progress that’s been made,” Williamson sad. “We both want the same thing, but we haven’t been on the court a lot. The more were on the court together, the more our chemistry will build in real time. What (Ingram) did in that third quarter, I was shaking my head.”

Williamson scored eight points from close range during a 22-4 run that turned a four-point deficit into a 65-51 lead. Pounding the ball inside helped New Orleans shoot 57.8% (26 of 45) in the first half, and 54.3% (50 of 92) for the game.

Fox entered the game having scored at least 28 points in all but one game. He finished 5 of 8 from the floor.

The 36-point victory was the most lopsided of the season for New Orleans.


The teams play again Wednesday night in New Orleans.



Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.