NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Nikola Mirotic scored 36 points, Anthony Davis had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the pace-pushing New Orleans Pelicans continued their torrid start to the season with a 149-129 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
Jrue Holiday had 15 points and 10 assists for the Pelicans, who shot 58.9 percent (56 of 95) and reached 110 points before the third quarter ended.
Julius Randle and Ian Clark each scored 13, and Randle also had 13 rebounds for New Orleans, which opened the season with a surprising 131-112 victory at Houston and has scored at least 30 points in each of its first eight quarters of play so far.
Mirotic hit three 3s in quick succession in the middle of the fourth quarter, the third a step-back shot from the right wing, drawing chants of “Ni-ko! Ni-ko!” from the crowd.
Willie Cauley-Stein scored 20 points and Marvin Bagley III had 19 for Sacramento, which has lost its first two games. De’Aron Fox and Frank Mason each scored 18 for the Kings, who shot 52.1 percent but simply could not keep up with the Pelicans, whose relentless style produced a slew of crowd-pleasing moments.
In the first half, Holiday lofted a right-handed lob that looked like a running hook to Davis, who soared to palm the ball with his right hand and slam it down in one motion.
Later, Davis grabbed an offensive rebound as he crashed to the court, and from his back flipped a pass to Holiday, who drove down the lane for a layup.
New Orleans finished with 16 3-pointers on 31 attempts from deep (51.6 percent).
Kings: Former Pelicans first-round draft choice Buddy Hield scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range. … C Kosta Koufos was out with a right hamstring strain.
Pelicans: Randle played despite being on New Orleans’ injury list with left plantar fasciitis. … G Elfrid Payton had 11 points to go with six rebounds and six assists in his second game with New Orleans after getting a triple-double in his debut. … Darius Miller scored 10 points. … The Pelicans are 2-0 for the first time since 2011-12, the last season before Davis was drafted.
Kings: Visit Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Pelicans: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.