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Kings’ defense continues to give up big games to stars and unknowns in loss to the Pelicans

Kings coach George Karl makes note of 'Sacramento kid' Ryan Anderson

Sacramento Kings coach George Karl said that the Kings have struggled on back-to-back games after loss to Pelicans.
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Sacramento Kings coach George Karl said that the Kings have struggled on back-to-back games after loss to Pelicans.

Tim Frazier might not be a household name to many NBA fans.

He was signed to a 10-day contract Wednesday afternoon by the New Orleans Pelicans.

And for a player looking to make an impression, the Kings are the perfect opponent, as Frazier and so many other players have seen this season.

Wednesday night epitomized the Kings’ defense in 2015-16 in a 123-108 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings have lost 10 of their last 12 games and lost all four games to New Orleans this season.

Players you have heard of (Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson) have big games.

Players who are not well known post career highs.

In this case, it was Frazier who scored 14 points and added nine assists while still figuring out who his new teammates are.

And the Kings continually put themselves at disadvantages in one-on-one matchups.

The Kings’ defensive switches put smaller defenders on the 6-foot-10 Anderson, who gladly took advantage.

“I thought switches on our pick-and-roll coverages was just too soft,” Kings coach George Karl said. “He made some very difficult shots. too. He was making shots ... he just got hot.”

Karl said the Kings were not physical with Anderson, something the Kings have struggled with defensively most of the season.

“We didn’t get in his chest and make him a driver,” Karl said.

Anderson could use film from his games against the Kings this season if he wanted to boost his stock in free agency.

The former Oak Ridge High School and Cal star came into Wednesday averaging 24.3 points on 51 percent shooting in three games against the Kings this season.

Anderson again put on an offensive clinic with a brilliant second quarter. Whether shooting the three or exploiting the Kings’ defensive plans by posting up smaller players, Anderson looked unstoppable.

Anderson scored 21 points in the second quarter, making eight of 11 shots. Anderson matched Charlotte’s Kemba Walker for most points in a quarter by a Kings opponent with his outburst.

Walker had 21 points in the fourth quarter at Charlotte, Nov. 23.

Anderson finished with 29 points.

“Ryan Anderson,” said Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. “Kills us every time.”

Sometimes it was Frazier, other times it was Jrue Holiday. It didn’t really matter as the Pelicans continually exploited holes in the Kings’ defense.

“(Anderson is) a big, can stretch the floor, has a post game as well,” Cousins said. “The combo between him and Jrue Holiday is a tough cover because it results in a lot of switch situations. You’ve just got to kind of pick your poison.”

Add in All-Star Anthony Davis (27 points, 14 rebounds), and the Pelicans had their pick of players who could get what they wanted against the Kings’ defense.

Frazier arrived in Sacramento at 11:30 a.m., and met with coach Alvin Gentry after studying basic plays on an iPad. He looked like he’d been around all season.

“For the most part (Frazier) was just kind of on his own and doing it by feel,” Gentry said. “I thought he did a good job ... especially considering that he’s not played one minute with this group of guys, but I thought he did a great job of finding guys.”

The Kings continue to try to find their way as the season winds down.

Sacramento is 14-20 at home this season. Wednesday’s loss came without injured guards Rajon Rondo, Ben McLemore and Marco Belinelli, but even when healthy the home court has not been much of an advantage this season.

The injury-riddled Pelicans have won twice at Sleep Train this season.

“We don’t try to be a tough-minded, physical, aggressive team (at home), even though that’s not probably our personality,” Karl said. “We should be able to have that personality more than we do. I just think too many nights the philosophy has been let’s try to outrun them and outshoot them and not enough win the game.

“Let the crowd help you win the game by playing good defense and playing at both ends of the court at a high intensity level.”

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