October 20, 2018 / 2:59 AM / in a month

Mirotic's career-high 36 lifts Pelicans in blowout

EditorsNote: Tweaks 3rd, 5th, 8th grafs; other smaller tweaks

Nikola Mirotic scored a career-high 36 points as the New Orleans Pelicans set a franchise record for points in their second consecutive high-scoring rout to the start the season, winning their home opener against the Sacramento Kings 149-129 Friday night.

Mirotic led eight double-figure scorers for the Pelicans, who opened the season with a 131-112 win against Houston on Wednesday. They have started 2-0 for the first time since 2011-12.

Anthony Davis had 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists; Jrue Holiday had 15 points, 10 assists and three steals; Elfrid Payton scored 11; and E’Twaun Moore 10 as all five New Orleans starters had at least 10 points.

New Orleans’ bench was strong also as Julius Randle had 13 points and 14 rebounds, Ian Clark, who did not play in the opener, added 13 points and Darius Miller scored 10.

Willie Cauley-Stein led Sacramento in scoring for the second consecutive game, scoring 20. Rookie No. 2 overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III had 19 points and eight rebounds as a reserve, De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason III each scored 18 and former Pelican Buddy Hield finished with 17.

The Pelicans led 72-63 at halftime, and all five starters scored early in the third quarter as they increased the lead to 92-77.

A dunk by Cauley-Stein and a 3-pointer by Hield cut the lead to 10 before the New Orleans bench gave it a lift.

Randle made two baskets, Solomon Hill hit a 3-pointer and Miller converted a four-point play. That helped the Pelicans to a 110-90 lead after three quarters, and they led by as many as 28 in the fourth quarter.

Mirotic scored 12 points and Davis had 11 as the Pelicans raced to a 40-32 lead after the first quarter.

Yogi Ferrell made two free throws and added a 3-pointer, and four teammates scored during a Kings run that pulled them even at 48.

New Orleans scored the next 10 points on its way to a 72-63 halftime lead.

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