NBA: Pelican drops Kings, Western Conference play-in bid seals

CJ McCollum Pelicans NBA

CJ McCullum of the New Orleans Pelicans responds # 3 during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half on February 27, 2022 at the Arena in Los Angeles, California. Michael Owens / Getty Images / AFP (Photo by Michael Owens / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP)

CJ McCullum and Jackson Hayes scored 23 points each on Tuesday night as the New Orleans Pelicans won a Western Conference play-in berth with a 123-109 win over host Sacramento Kings.

Hayes, with 12 rebounds, and Willie Hernangomez, with 12 points and 12 rebounds, double-doubled for the Pelicans (35-44) who were one game ahead of 10th-ranked San Antonio Spurs (34-45) in Denver.

Devin Mitchell had 15 points and 17 assists for the Kings (29-51), who were officially knocked out of the Western Post Season race two nights ago.

The Pelicans took a 60-57 advantage in the locker room shortly after the first half was tightened, with Brandon Ingram, Herbert Jones and Hayes nailing 3-pointers in a row on nine-point flores to extend the lead to 12 in the second minute. The third period.

Having lost just the third time in their last seven games, the Kings moved closer to four after the third quarter and dropped to just 105-99 after Chimeji Metu Hoop with 7:23 left in the game.

However, McCullum hit two baskets in an 8-3 burst that broke the game and gave the spectators a chance to go home with their fourth win in the last five games.

The Pelicans converted 51.1 percent of their shots, with McCullum firing -19 for 10 and Hayes -14 for 10.

Ingram finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and a team-high eight assists for New Orleans. Devante ‘Graham and Trey Murphy were third with 14 and Larry Nance Jr. had 10.

The Kings lost with 51.3 percent shooting. On a team-high 22-point lead, Damien Jones was the most accurate of the hosts, shooting 8-for-10.

Jeremy Lamb joined Mitchell with 15 points for the Kings, with Metu and Harrison Burns adding 12 points.

Burns landed six rebounds for Sacramento, which split the season series with the Pelicans 2-2.

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