Kings takeaways: What we learned in 20-point road loss to Pelicans

James Ham
NBC Sports BayArea
<p>For the second consecutive game, Sacramento struggled mightily on the defensive end. </p>

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 20-point road loss to Pelicans

For the second consecutive game, Sacramento struggled mightily on the defensive end.

BOX SCORE

No luck in the Big Easy.

The Sacramento Kings played a highly competitive 20 minutes of basketball Friday night at Smoothie King Center, but in the NBA, you have to play a full 48. 

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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 consecutive game, Sacramento struggled on the defensive end, allowing New Orleans to torch the Kings 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 points for the second consecutive 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

The Kings knew slowing down Davis was paramount to have a chance against the Pelicans in the opener. Davis was good (25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists), but Mirotic was unstoppable.

The smooth-shooting stretch four went off for career-high 36 points on 14-of-21 shooting from the field and 5 of 9 from long range. He added nine rebounds in New Orleans' blowout win.

Welcome to the NBA, Marvin Bagley III  

After Bagley played just 12 minutes in the opener, Kings 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.

Bagley 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 one block in 32 minutes.

Fox is answering the call 

The second-year pro continued his strong play. In the opener, he managed to drop 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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