The New Orleans Pelicans clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs with a resilient 105-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings in a play-in tournament elimination game, overcoming De’Aaron Fox’s 35-point performance.

Despite missing leading-scorer Zion Williamson due to a left hamstring strain, the Pelicans rallied behind Brandon Ingram’s 24 points and Jonas Valanciunas’ double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds.

The Pelicans showcased their depth and resilience, with six players scoring 10 or more points, including impactful contributions from reserves Larry Nance Jr., Naji Marshall, and Jose Alvarado.

New Orleans capitalized on their balanced scoring and gritty defense to secure their postseason berth, setting up a first-round playoff series against the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.

While De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 35 points and Domantas Sabonis contributed 23 points and 14 rebounds, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Pelicans’ determined effort.

New Orleans’ dominance over Sacramento continued, as they extended their season series record to a perfect 6-0 against the Kings.