By: Morgan Ragan
The Sacramento Kings end their three-game losing streak defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 96-89 Monday night at Sleep Train Arena.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half and grabbed 12 rebounds for Sacramento.
Reggie Evans had his first double-double as a member of the Sacramento Kinga with 10 points and added 13 boards off the bench.
Rookie Ray McCallum added important minutes during the Kings last two games. He had nine points against the Timberwolves Saturday night and eight points Monday night in his 22 minutes of playing time.
“I loved how McCallum played tonight. To me he is growing up in front of our eyes, making big plays, meaningful minutes and showing no fear,” head coach Michael Malone said.
Former Kings guard, Tyreke Evans, scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter. He also added 10 boards and eight assists for the Pelicans who dropped their 8th straight game.
Sacramento will depart for a seven game road trip starting Wednesday night in Milwaukee.
“I’m going to take it one game at a time. It’s a very long road trip and put all of my energy in beating the Bucks Wednesday night,” Malone said following the win.
Both teams shot 37.5 percent from the field in the first half. Reggie Evans showed his teammates what it looks like to actually want the ball.
His energy and veteran presence was visible during 30 minutes off the bench. His desire for every rebound and loose ball is something the Kings have been lacking and hopefully his fire will become contagious.
Rookie Ben McLemore is lacking that fire. He finished Monday night’s win with 10 points in 28 minutes but his confidence is still a huge concern.
McLemore has a great opportunity to gain valuable experience and playing time in these final 23 games. Malone has shown that he’s behind the rookie and he’ll have a long leash during the stretch run of the season.
You can hear Morgan with Deuce & J-Ross from 12-3 p.m. on KHTK. Follow her on Twitter: @momoragan