Ian Clark scored 31 points with a career-best seven 3-pointers, Elfrid Payton had 12 of his 25 points in the final 3½ minutes and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Sacramento Kings 133-129 on Sunday night.
Jahlil Okafor added 23 points and 14 rebounds, Solomon Hill had 13 points and Kenrich Williams scored 12 to help the Pelicans stop a three-game skid while beating the Kings for the third time in four meetings this season.
Harrison Barnes scored 29 points for Sacramento in its final home game. De’Aaron Fox added 24 points and 11 assists, while Marvin Bagley had 19 points and 14 rebounds.
New Orleans led by 16 in the third quarter but Sacramento came back to tie it, then went up 117-115 midway through the fourth.
Bogdan Bogdanovic and Barnes made consecutive 3s to put the Kings ahead 123-121. Payton then scored on a short jumper and made a 3-pointer.
The Pelicans led 132-126 following a pair of free throws by Payton with 26.5 seconds remaining. Bogdanovic made another 3 but later airballed an attempt from beyond the arc. Buddy Hield also missed a late 3-pointer for the Kings.
Hield finished with 12 points and made two 3s, giving him 599 in his first three NBA seasons. That matches the mark set by Portland’s Damian Lillard.
By taking three of four from Sacramento, the Pelicans prevented the Kings from celebrating their first 40-win season at home since 2005-06. Sacramento (39-42) can still reach 40 wins by beating Portland on the road Wednesday.
The Kings got off to a good start but couldn’t hold off the Pelicans in the second half.
Nemanja Bjelica was perfect on five shots in the first quarter and had 12 points. Fox added 10 to help offset four 3s by Clark in the opening period.
The Kings led by 14 before Clark led a late charge in the second quarter to pull the Pelicans to 68-66.
Pelicans: With Julius Randle getting the night off for rest, New Orleans was left with a three-man bench. Christian Wood started in place of Randle.
Kings: Bagley’s double-double was his 19th this season. . Coach Dave Joerger picked up a technical foul at the end of the third, his eighth this season. . Sacramento closed the third quarter on a 22-6 run, not long after allowing the Pelicans to go on a 20-5 spurt.
Pelicans: Play at Golden State on Tuesday.
Kings: End the season at Portland on Wednesday.