We’re officially the worst.
With Sacramento’s loss to the Hornets on Monday night in what was not as close of a game as the final score suggests, the Kings have dropped 8 games in a row and now have sole possession of the NBA’s worst record at 13-33. That’s good news for those fans hoping for extra chances in the NBA lottery, but not so great for those that want to see some entertaining basketball.
At least the Kings made this one semi-interesting. The first quarter started with both teams scoring too easily. De’Aaron Fox led the charge for the Kings and ended up finishing with 16 points and 7 assists in 31 minutes. The Kings offense fell apart after that first quarter though and the Hornets were able to gather a sizeable lead, leading by 17 going into the final frame.
Sacramento’s defense stepped up in the fourth quarter however, and so did the offense thanks to Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere. Hield scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Skal was Sacramento’s only reliable source of offense for much of the game, scoring 23 points on a very efficient 10-15 from the field. The Kings cut the Hornets’ lead to as little as 3 points but weren’t able to close the gap completely.
Aside from Fox, Hield and Labissiere, the Kings didn’t get much help offensively. Dwight Howard really hampered Willie Cauley-Stein, who finished with 11 points on a putrid 5-20 from the field. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 10 points to go with 7 assists but shot just 3-10. George Hill played 19 minutes and only shot the ball twice, which kinda sums up his entire career with the Kings so far. Georgios Papagiannis once again got some meaningful minutes, scoring 6 points to go with 6 rebounds in about 13 minutes of action.
The Hornets were led by Kemba Walker’s 26 points, but Walker only shot 6-20 from the field. He was 5-14 from three point alone, and his real damage came from getting to the line where he was 9-10. The Hornets were far more aggressive in shooting the long ball than the Kings, making 16 of 40. The Kings had the much higher percentage at 10-22 and should probably look to shoot the long ball a lot more.
The Kings face another bottom dweller tomorrow in the Orlando Magic. Losing would grant a full game and a half of separation, while winning would put the Kings in a three-way tie for worst with Atlanta and Orlando. The Magic are the only team left on this road trip with a losing record, and the Kings won’t play a non-projected playoff team again until February 3rd. If Sacramento doesn’t win tomorrow, the franchise record of 13 straight losses could be in real jeopardy.