SACRAMENTO (AP) — New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson first played at Sleep Train Arena in junior high, and then again when he led his high school team to the playoffs.
It was only fitting that the Sacramento native had one of his best games of the season in his final appearance there.
Taking advantage of a confused Kings defense that had problems all night, Anderson scored 21 of his 29 points in the second quarter when he missed only three shots and New Orleans beat Sacramento 123-108 on Wednesday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
“This is where basketball started with me,” Anderson said. “It always felt unreal and like a dream playing here. Of course, you get comfortable more and more playing in the environment. But I just try (to) remember what it feels like playing as a kid here.”
The Kings have played at Sleep Train Arena since 1988 but will be moving into their new downtown arena in 2017.
Anderson, who played in college at UC Berkeley 80 miles south, continued to give the Kings nightmares. He went into the game averaging 24.3 points against Sacramento this season and maintained that pace with another big night, going 11 of 21 with five 3s.
Coupled with Anthony Davis’ scoring inside the paint, Anderson and the Pelicans maintained their slim playoff hopes.
“From start to finish, we did a good job tonight,” New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. “We had a little bit tough time at the start of the third but we recovered well.”
Davis had 27 points and 14 rebounds as the Pelicans set a season high with 74 points in the first half while completing a four-game sweep of the Kings this season.
Davis nearly had a double-double in the first quarter when New Orleans scored 33 points, then spent most of the second on the bench while Anderson went 8 of 11 from the floor to break the game open.
Jrue Holiday added 17 points, Tony Douglas scored 11 and newly signed Tim Frazier had a career-high 14 points with nine assists.
DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Sacramento but struggled with his shot most of the night.
New Orleans led by 27 points and was on pace to set a season high for scoring following Anderson’s two late 3s in the fourth quarter before going cold down the stretch.
Sacramento, which was coming off a road win against the Lakers that stopped a five-game losing streak, couldn’t keep up and lost for the 10th time in 12 games.
“We have not been a good back-to-back team,” Kings coach George Karl said. “We lacked that spirit that we had last night. In the second quarter ... the game got loose on us.”
The Kings had hoped to build some momentum before moving to their facility but haven’t had much luck. They dropped to 14-20 at Sleep Train Arena and would need to win out in their final seven games there to avoid finishing with a losing record at home.
“It’s hard for me to put a finger on it,” Karl said. “We don’t try to be a tough-minded, physical aggressive team. We should be able to have that personality more than we do.”
Frazier, who was signed to a 10-day contract before the game, had to do some quick studying on his iPad to learn as much of the Pelicans playbook as possible.
“I was able to watch the plays, to see what they could do, and it kind of helped me out,” Frazier said. “If there were anytime we went through something that was complicated, it would come out of a timeout so I could see the situation on the board. From there, the coach just let me go out there and run free.”
Pelicans: The 74 first-half points are a season high for New Orleans. ... Norris Cole (lower back) was sidelined for a fifth consecutive game.
Kings: Point guard Rajon Rondo (turf toe, thumb sprain, right shoulder bruise) and Marco Belinelli (right ankle) were held out. Ben McLemore (broken right ring finger) missed his fifth straight game. ... Omri Casspi has scored in double figures in six consecutive games off the bench. Kings haven’t beaten the Pelicans at Sleep Train Arena since March 3, 2014.
Pelicans: Host Portland on Friday night.
Kings: At Detroit on Friday night.