Bogdanovic sharpens his aim and reactivates the Kings' options

The Serbian, with 35 points, led the first triumph of Walton's men. Up to 6 teams from the West have options to reach the play-in.

The only great incentive that remained to be resolved in the 15 days of the regular phase scheduled in Orlando is still very far from being resolved. And more and more teams are daydreaming. The Grizzlies' disastrous start to the bubble, 4 defeats in 4 games, has awakened the aspirations of up to 5 teams, who now see the last ticket in the West much closer. The latest to do so were Luke Walton's Sacramento Kings. They do it after going over some Pelicans, who from the second half of the third quarter lost that bellows that had kept them in the game. A match in which they were in tow from the beginning, their maximum income was 2 points, and it was with the starting basket.

The first 12 minutes already ended with a 10-point income in favor of Sacramento, largely due to the enormous success they had throughout the game from outside. They finished the first quarter with an accuracy of up to 77.8%. Much of the blame for the great start of Walton's men was Bogdan Bogdanovic.

The Serbian, the third player with the best scoring average on his team so far this season, finished the first quarter with 19 points, having missed only 1 field goal and another triple, after trying up to a total of 6 shots from outside. The losses, the intensity in the zone defense, added to a non-existent defense in Gentry's men, and the enormous success from outside was the recipe that allowed the Kings to finish the first quarter with almost 50 points on their account and practically manage to his whim the match times.

The Kings were coming off a victory that seemed sung against the Mavericks, a game in which Bogdanovic was only able to score 3 points with a triple in extra time. Despite the bad feelings, the Belgrade player managed to redeem himself and complete a great game with 35 points, as well as 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

The Pelicans' reaction in the second quarter was just a mirage. The pitchfork composed of Ingram and Holiday from the outside and Zion Williamson in the paint brought Gentry's men within 7 points after the end of the first period. This apparent reaction was motivated by the more than foreseeable decrease in the success of some Kings who saw Bogdanovic go from scoring 19 points at the start to just 5 in the next 12 minutes.

The Pelicans, with a virtually infallible Zion Williamson, came within range of a basket early in the third quarter. However, a 12-0 partial in favor of the Waltons, with a great success from outside Bogdanovic, Fox, who finished with 30 points, in addition to a notable Harrison Barnes with 22 points, gradually extinguished the laughable options of the Pelicans to add their second win in the bubble. The third quarter ended and the score was already 103-117. The Pelicans saw a team that reached the 36th minute of the game with a lower percentage of shooting from the field beat them by 14 points. The mission seemed impossible to say the least.

In the fourth quarter, Alvin Gentry waited for an initial reaction from his team to continue keeping the 5 starters on the court. A reaction that never came. The forcefulness of the result invited Shelby's coach to make rotations and sat down a Williamson, who despite having improved in his performance continues to enjoy fewer minutes than predicted after confinement.

Zion spent practically 22 minutes on the court in which he scored 24 points, collected 2 rebounds and distributed 2 assists. He made 10 of the 12 field goals he tried and missed 3 free throws of 7. The numbers are not deceiving and much of the Pelicans' chances of finishing at least ninth depend on a Williamson who ended up with very few friends in the game. dock. Only Brandon Ingram, with 12 more minutes on the court, could match his team's scoring records.

This result further agitates the fight for eighth position in the Western Conference. The numbers suggest that whatever happens in the 4 games that remain for those involved, except for the Blazers and Suns, who must play tonight to have the same duels left, that the objective will be double.

To get to the play-in, the eighth had to lead by 4 victories or less than the ninth-placed in the Conference. Condition that at this time would occur with up to 13º from the West. The Grizzlies depend on themselves, but a Blazers win over the Nuggets would reduce their income to just half a game, so the Jenkins' margin of error is tiny.

Pelicans and Kings now have 29 wins and 39 losses at 12th and 13th in the West respectively. The Grizzlies are 2 and a half games away, the Blazers 1 and a half, the Spurs to a half and the Suns with the same figures, waiting for them to play their game against the Pacers, who aspire to third place in the East. In the next stake, Kings and Pelicans await two teams with nothing at stake, Nets for the Kings and Wizards for the Pelicans, so it seems that the next games invite to presage on the role that the fight for eighth and ninth place West will resolve on the horn.

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