The New Orleans Pelicans have finally picked up a win in 2014 after ending their long losing streak, but they still haven't won in front of their home fans since December.
Facing a Sacramento team that's in the midst of an arduous road trip might be just what they need to end that drought.
The Pelicans aim for their first home win in more than three weeks Tuesday night as they look for their ninth victory in the Kings' last 10 visits to New Orleans.
Led by Anthony Davis, who had 27 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and four steals, the Pelicans ended their eight-game skid with a 95-92 victory at Memphis on Monday.
New Orleans (16-24) was down entering the final quarter, but Davis and Tyreke Evans combined for 17 of the Pelicans' 27 fourth-quarter points, helping the team raise its record to 3-19 when trailing after 36 minutes.
"It just feels good to get a win," coach Monty Williams said. "For me, it's all about (Sacramento) and the preparation has already started for that but I want our guys to enjoy it."
New Orleans hasn't won at home since beating Portland on Dec. 30, but the last time it won back-to-back games - Dec. 23 and 27 - it started with a 113-100 win at Sacramento.
To do that again, the Pelicans need to keep feeding Evans, the former Kings guard who signed with New Orleans during the offseason. Evans had season highs of 25 points and 12 assists when the teams met last month, and the Pelicans are 11-4 this season when he scores at least 15 points.
Davis has also been a force of late, carrying the team while Evans, Jrue Holiday, Jason Smith and Ryan Anderson have missed time with injuries. Davis has averaged 26.4 points and 11.8 rebounds in his last five games.
"Everybody contributed, all the way down to the 10th guy," Davis said following the win over Memphis. "That's what we're going to need while our guys are down (due to injury)."
The Kings (14-25) have dropped eight of nine in New Orleans and three of four on their current six-game trip after Sunday's 108-93 loss to Oklahoma City. Rudy Gay scored just six points before being ejected midway through the fourth quarter for arguing with an official.
'Rudy, obviously, I think he was frustrated with the way he was playing and he wound up getting thrown out of the game, which is unfortunate,' coach Michael Malone said. "We'll bounce back, we'll work on some things, watch some film and we still have two games on this trip that we feel like we have a great chance to win."
Gay had averaged 23.0 points while Sacramento had gone 4-2 in its previous six games, but he had 11 points while missing 10 of 12 shots and six turnovers in the loss to the Pelicans last month.
The Kings are 8-3 when he scores 20 or more points, and winless in eight games where fails to reach that mark.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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