NBA

Kings HC Mike Brown urges his side to respond to adversity after fourth loss from past six

By Sports Desk February 06, 2023

Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown is concerned that his side's strong start has them playing complacently after getting crushed 136-104 by the undermanned New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.

The Pelicans, who were without Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, were 1-10 in their previous 11 games heading into Sunday, but they made light work of a Kings side who were also missing De'Aaron Fox.

It was Sacramento's fourth loss from their past six games, and while they still sit third in the West, the tightly bunched nature of the conference has them in a precarious position.

At 29-23 the Kings are one game ahead of the fourth-placed Los Angeles Clippers (30-26), but are also only three games ahead of the 10th-seeded Utah Jazz (27-27).

A losing streak now could see the Kings plummet in the standings, and with the potential to break 16-season playoff drought, coach Brown wants to see his team figure things out quickly.

"We’ve had a pretty good year so far and we've experienced a lot of highs," he said. "Now we've hit a little adversity.

"I don't know if we're all-in like we talked about at the beginning of the year, and how we've been, because things are flowing and we're winning and in third-place or whatever.

"I'm going to watch and see how we all handle this. It's tough to go through, but it's a great thing for this team to experience. 

"Because if we expect to make the playoffs – and we do expect to advance in the playoffs – we'll have to deal with adversity... and, right now, I don't think we're doing a great job with it."

For the Pelicans, who are now on a two-game winning streak following a dismal 10-game losing streak, second-year wing Trey Murphy III was the key as he scored a season-high 30 points on nine-of-11 shooting, hitting six-of-eight from deep.

The 22-year-old came into the contest having made just 11-of-31 three-point attempts in his past five games, but he said he knew things would balance out if he kept firing.

"Just got to keep shooting, no matter if you're hitting or not," he said. "Eventually, your percentage is going to get to where it's supposed to be. So, I'm just glad my teammates found me and I was able knock down shots."

He added: "B.I. [Ingram] was out, so somebody had to be B.I. – I decided to tap into my B.I. skill-set."

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