The New Orleans Pelicans never thought much of Omri Casspi during the summer, as they were preparing for the season, and soon enough released him. So last night Casspi came back at them, from the other side of the court, big time.
Now playing for the Sacramento Kings, Casspi shined on the side of the Kings, who defeated the less than impressive Pelicans 99-89 before a sellout crowd in the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
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The Kings have been playing without small forward Rudy Gay and point guard Darren Collison, so there was room last night for to Casspi step in and score his season-high 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, which, together with DeMarcus Cousins’ own 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, was enough to win the night.
Tyreke Evans posted 22 points, and Anthony Davis added 14 points for New Orleans, which now lost three of its last five games.
Casspi, who scored four quick points at the start, helping the Kings to 12-2, then scored all the nine points of a 9-2 Sacramento swing in the third quarter, raising the Kings to 66-59.
The only time New Orleans posed a threat was when they outscored the Kings 33-22 in the second quarter, to get a 49-49 tie at halftime.
Sacramento entered the fourth quarter with a 75-70 advantage, then Nik Stauskas scored a jumper and Ray McCallum made two free throws in the opening minute, making it 79-70. New Orleans never overcame that deficit.