Apr 19, 2024 - Sports

New Orleans Pelicans host Sacramento Kings in final bid for spot in NBA playoffs

Data: CBS Sports; Table: Axios Visuals

The New Orleans Pelicans host the Sacramento Kings Friday night in a last-ditch effort at making the NBA playoffs.

Why it matters: It's win or go home.

State of play: The winner will move on as the No. 8 seed and face the top-seed Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.

But it didn't have to be this way. The Pelicans could have clinched a guaranteed spot in the playoffs as the No. 6 seed if they won their final game of the regular season against the Los Angeles Lakers. They lost 124-108.

  • A couple days later they faced the Lakers in New Orleans again for a shot at the seventh spot in the play-in tournament. They lost that too along with star Zion Williamson, who injured his hamstring.
  • Williamson has been ruled out for Friday's crucial game against the Kings.

Reason for hope: The Pelicans won all five matchups against the Kings during the regular season including a 133-100 drubbing in Sacramento. They were without Williamson for that game and at one point led by 50.

  • In four of the five wins, the Pels beat the Kings by double digits with their largest margin of victory coming in November when they won by 36.

How to watch: Tipoff is at 8:30pm on TNT.

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