SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins had 11 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter for the Sacramento Kings, who never trailed in defeating the winless New Orleans Pelicans 102-94 on Tuesday night.
It was the second straight victory for the Kings (4-5), who were 1-7 in their first eight games last season,
Rudy Gay had 21 points and Aaron Afflalo added 15 for the Kings, who had dropped six straight games to New Orleans, dating to Nov. 25, 2014.
Kings point guard Darren Collison had nine points in his first game this season. Collison, who entered the game late in the opening quarter, missed the first eight games, serving a suspension for a domestic violence incident in the summer.
Anthony Davis had 34 points and eight rebounds for the Pelicans, who have started the season with eight straight losses, matching the 2004-05 team for the worst start in franchise history. Rookie guard Buddy Hield had 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter and E'Twaun Moore added 13.
It's been a miserable start to the season for New Orleans, which is without three starters – Jrue Holiday (personal reasons), Tyreke Evans (right knee) and Quincy Poindexter (left knee).
After Hield scored six straight points to pull the Pelicans within five, Affalo hit a 3 and was fouled. He made the free throw, completing a four-point play and giving the Kings a 97-88 lead with 45 seconds left.
Despite 14 points from Davis, the Pelicans could not cut into the Kings' lead and still trailed 76-70 entering the fourth.
Pelicans: Due to a foul that put them over the limit and wasn't noticed, the final 18.9 seconds of the first half were replayed after intermission. The replay led to a five-point halftime lead rather than a three-point lead by the Kings. … Hield struggled in the first half, missing his first four shots and had two first-half points.
Kings: Cousins, who has seen his rebounds totals dip this year, had four boards. … Willie Cauley-Stein had five fouls in 13 minutes, but also contributed nine points and three blocks. … This was the first of seven of eight games at home. The lone road game is Friday in Portland.
Pelicans: Finish a three-game trip Thursday in Milwaukee.