NEW ORLEANS (AP) — De’Aaron Fox scored 23 points, rookie Keegan Murray added 21 and the Sacramento Kings beat the New Orleans Pelicans 121-103 on Tuesday night to clinch the Pacific Division title.
Domantas Sabonis had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the Kings, who took the lead for good late in the first quarter and led by as many as 24 points in the second half.
Brandon Ingram scored 22 points and Trey Murphy III had 17 for the Pelicans (40-39), who entered the game knowing they could guarantee themselves sixth place in the Western Conference if they won their final four games.
Now New Orleans is more likely destined for a play-in spot that goes to teams finishing seventh through 10th. But they have yet to clinch even that, needing one more victory or a loss by Dallas, which plays Wednesday, and Utah, which played against the Los Angeles Lakers later Tuesday night.
Malik Monk scored 17 and Harrison Barnes 16 points for the Kings (48-31), who remained 1 1/2 games behind Memphis (49-29) for the second seed in the West.
Murry, drafted fourth overall out of Iowa last summer, made seven of 10 3-point attempts. He hit five during the third quarter, when the Kings opened up a 17-point lead. It was his third straight game with 18 or more points.
Fox hit 10 of 23 shots and also had nine assists.
Kings: Sabonis has 13 triple-doubles this season. ... Murray has scored 20 or more points in 13 games this season. ... Kevin Huerter scored 11 points. ... Shot 50.5% (46 of 91), including 17 of 42 (40.5%) from 3-point range. .... Outrebounded New Orleans 43-37.
Pelicans: Jonas Valanciunas scored 13 points, CJ McCollum and rookie Dyson Daniels each scored 12 points and Herbert Jones scored 11. ... Still need two more victories in their last three games to finish with a winning regular season record for the first time since 2017-18, when they went 48-34.
Kings: At Dallas on Wednesday.
Pelicans: Host Memphis on Wednesday.