Kings Trail Pelicans 45-54 at Halftime in Playoff Game

The Sacramento Kings trail the New Orleans Pelicans at halftime in a crucial Western Conference Play-In game, with De'Aaron Fox leading the Kings' scoring efforts. The outcome will determine the 8th seed in the playoffs, as the Kings aim to end their 16-year drought.

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Kings Trail Pelicans 45-54 at Halftime in Playoff Game

Kings Trail Pelicans 45-54 at Halftime in Playoff Game

The Sacramento Kings find themselves behind the New Orleans Pelicans 45-54 at halftime in a critical Western Conference playoff matchup. Kings star guard De'Aaron Fox is leading the team's scoring efforts with 18 points in the first half.

This winner-take-all Play-In game, being held at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, tipped off at 6:30 PM PT. The Kings are looking to secure their first win of the season against the Pelicans and advance to face the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.

The Pelicans, despite missing star player Zion Williamson due to a hamstring injury suffered in their previous game against the Lakers, have managed to build a nine-point lead. New Orleans' bench has been instrumental in establishing this advantage, with players like Larry Nance Jr., Naji Marshall, and Jose Alvarado contributing a combined 21 points.

Adding to the Kings' challenges, they lost rookie forward Keegan Murray to an injury near the end of the second quarter. This setback further complicates Sacramento's efforts to overcome the double-digit deficit in the second half.

Why this matters: The outcome of this game will determine which team secures the eighth seed in the Western Conference and advances to the playoffs. It also marks a critical moment for the Kings franchise, as they aim to end their 16-year playoff drought, the longest active streak in the NBA.

Heading into this game, the Kings were confident despite their 0-5 record against the Pelicans this season. "We're not worried about the regular season," said Kings forward Keegan Murray. "We're just focused on this one-game series." The Kings will need to find a way to contain the Pelicans' scoring and mount a second-half comeback to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Key Takeaways

  • Kings trailed Pelicans 45-54 at halftime in critical Western Conference Play-In game.
  • Kings star De'Aaron Fox led the team with 18 points, but lost rookie Keegan Murray to injury.
  • Pelicans' bench players contributed 21 points, helping build a 9-point lead despite Zion Williamson's absence.
  • The winner of this game secured the 8th seed in the West and advances to face top-seeded Thunder in playoffs.
  • Kings aim to end 16-year playoff drought, the longest active streak in the NBA.