Kings-Pelicans gameday: Brown’s Coach of the Year odds; Last 2 Minute Report; Fox status

Xavier Mascareñas/

Kings coach Mike Brown is beginning to get the credit he deserves for the remarkable turnaround he has orchestrated this season in Sacramento.

Brown had the ninth-best odds of winning NBA Coach of the Year when the season started, but now he is second behind Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, according to new odds released by BetOnline.

The Kings (29-22) are third in the Western Conference going into Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans (26-27) at Smoothie King Center. Sacramento needs just one more win to match last season’s total.

The Pelicans had lost 10 in a row before beating the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. Zion Williamson is still sidelined with a hamstring injury while the Kings expect De’Aaron Fox to miss a second game due to personal reasons.

The playoff race is tightly bunched in the West, but Brown has the Kings within 2 ½ games of the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 2 seed. They are just four games ahead of the Pelicans for 11th, but with 31 games remaining, Sacramento has a good chance of ending the franchise’s NBA-record 16-year playoff drought.

The Kings hired Brown in May after he spent six seasons as Steve Kerr’s lead assistant with the Golden State Warriors, where he was part of three NBA championship teams. Brown and his staff have devised the NBA’s most explosive offense with Fox, Domantas Sabonis and a stable of shooters. The Kings lead the league in scoring at 119.2 points per game and rank second in offensive rating (116.9).

Brown’s odds of winning Coach of the Year were 50/1 on July 6; 25/1 on Oct. 18; 50/1 on Nov. 1; 12/1 on Dec. 1; and 10/1 on Jan. 2. Now, they are 23/10, more simply expressed as 2.3/1, making Brown a close second to Mazzulla, who is the odds-on favorite at 9/4 or 2.25/1.

Mazzulla and Brown are followed by Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone (9/2), Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins (13/2), Brooklyn Nets coach Jacque Vaughn (7/1) and Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers (14/1).

BetOnline released updated odds showing the Kings are now a 2/1 favorite to win the Pacific Division with 25/1 odds of winning the Western Conference. In November, the Kings were 125/1 underdogs to win the Pacific and 200/1 to win the West.

Last 2 Minute mistakes

The NBA acknowledged Saturday that officials missed three calls in Friday’s 107-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers, all of which favored Indiana.

The Last 2 Minute Report showed officials missed an offensive foul on Myles Turner with 1:51 to play and a 3-second violation on Turner with 1:40 remaining. Then, with 1:24 to go, officials awarded possession to the Pacers after ruling Domantas Sabonis poked the ball out of bounds, but video review showed it was out on Turner.

The Kings are no strangers to these kinds of mistakes. Earlier this season, the NBA admitted officials missed critical calls in decisive moments in three-point losses to the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors.

Fox’s status

Fox will miss his second game in a row when the Kings visit the Pelicans. The team said Fox remains out due to personal reasons after missing Friday’s game against the Pacers.

Fox and his wife, Recee Caldwell, are expecting their first child, but the Kings have not confirmed the reason for Fox’s absence, saying only that he is out due to a personal matter and the team will have no further comment.

Ingram out

The Pelicans have ruled Brandon Ingram out for Sunday’s game against the Kings due to left great toe soreness. Ingram scored 35 points in Saturday’s 131-126 victory over the Lakers. In addition, Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas is doubtful due to right quad soreness.

Kings at Pelicans

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Smoothie King Center

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

Odds: Kings -1.0

Over/under: 228

Injury report

Kings: OUT — De’Aaron Fox (personal); KZ Okpala (G League); Neemias Queta (G League).

Pelicans: Not yet submitted.

Upcoming schedule

Feb. 5 at New Orleans Pelicans

Feb 6. at Houston Rockets

Feb. 8 at Houston Rockets

Feb. 10 vs. Dallas Mavericks

Feb. 11 vs. Dallas Mavericks