Pelicans Look to Continue Success Over Kings in Decisive Play-In Game

The New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings go head to head for the final NBA playoff spot in the Western Conference on Friday.

Pinnacle LogoThese two are evenly matched teams, and a tightly contested affair is expected. Bookmaker Pinnacle has set the points total for both teams at 26.5 for the first quarter. The odds are at -120 for New Orleans to go over and -121 for Sacramento to score at least 27 points in the opening period.

※ Current Odds Date & Time: April 18th, 8:00 P.M. (EST)

The two clash at the Smoothie King Center after the Pelicans swept the regular-season series 5-0. The Kings have had no answers to New Orleans’ attack, allowing 128.2 points per game in the match-up. However, Sacramento will be pleased to know that Zion Williamson won’t be on the court to help the Pelicans on Friday night.

Playing in his first career post-season game, Zion rocked the Lakers with 40 points on Tuesday but also injured his hamstring, which will keep him out for at least two weeks.

The Kings have their own injury issues, with Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk both unavailable, but Williamson’s absence is definitely a bigger blow for New Orleans.

Both CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram struggled on Tuesday night and will be expected to do a lot more against the Kings. Ingram has only just returned to the lineup from a knee injury, and his lackluster performance wasn’t a surprise, but McCollum’s drop in form came out of nowhere.

McCollum averaged 30.1 points per game across his last seven regular-season outings before settling for just nine points on 4-for-15 shooting against the Lakers. If he can’t find his shot on Friday either, the Pelicans will be in huge trouble.

The awful head-to-head record will be worrying for Sacramento, but the team has just received a big boost in confidence after knocking off Golden State in dominating fashion.

Domantas Sabonis added another double-double to his tally in Tuesday’s 118-94 win, while De’Aaron Fox and Keegan Murray combined for 10 made triples and 56 points.

On paper, New Orleans has the perfect antidote to cool down Sacramento’s hot offense on Friday. The Pelicans limited the opposition to 34.9 percent shooting from three-point range during the regular season, which was the second-best mark in the league behind Houston. It’s been a key to their success in the head-to-head clashes this season and could play a major role again in Friday’s winner-takes-all game.

Copied title and URL