Murphy scores season-high 30, Pelicans top Kings 136-104
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Trey Murphy III highlighted his season-high 30-point performance with six 3-pointers — a couple from well behind the arc — and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame the absence of several starters to beat the Sacramento Kings 136-104 on Sunday night.
CJ McCollum scored 24 points for the Pelicans, who shot 57.1% overall and combined to hit 14 of 26 from 3-point range after struggling from deep throughout their recent 10-game losing streak.
Willy Hernangomez had 22 points and 16 rebounds, and Naji Marshall scored 17 points for New Orleans, which led by as many as 35 points en route to a second straight victory.
In addition to being without All-Star forward Zion Williamson (right hamstring) for an 18th straight game, the Pelicans also took the floor without high-scoring wing Brandon Ingram and starting center Jonas Valanciunas.
Ingram, who recently returned from a left big toe injury, was given the night off after scoring 35 points in a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. Valanciunas sat out after leaving the game against the Lakers with a sore right quadriceps muscle.
Malik Monk scored 16 for the Kings, who lost their second straight game without De’Aaron Fox. He is away from the team for unspecified personal reasons. Domantas Sabonis had 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Trey Lyles scored 12.
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New Orleans scored the first five points of the game, led by as many as 20 in the first half and never trailed. Its first double-digit lead came when McCollum’s 3 made it 16-5 less than six minutes in.
After allowing 70 first-half points in their previous two games, the Pelicans scored that many in the first half against Sacramento, going ahead 70-50 on Kira Lewis Jr.’s 3 before Monk’s driving finger-roll made it 70-52 at halftime.
The lead grew to 30 when Larry Nance Jr.’s free throw made it 80-50 less than six minutes into the third period. Minutes later, Murphy’s rainbow 3 from 29 feet made it 93-60.
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