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Kings 104, Hornets 97: Sacramento closes out in the fourth

In a game the Kings needed to win, they got the job done in the second half and move to 22-21.

Kimani Okearah

This definitely wasn’t a pretty win as the Sacramento Kings had to earn every single thing against a Charlotte team looking to bounce back following their humiliation against Portland. Charlotte had the edge at the half following a good second quarter and things did look worrisome for Sacramento, but the Kings used a good third quarter to propel them to their 22nd win of the season.

It was a pretty even first quarter, but the Kings made a little run to have a 35-29 lead at the end of one. Kemba Walker was going early for Charlotte with 10 points on 3-4 shooting. They also got a boost from sophomore guard Malik Monk who scored five points off the bench. For Sacramento, Willie Cauley-Stein had six points, six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored eight off the bench and his shot looked really good. De’Aaron Fox had seven points, five of which came from free throws which was good to see.

The Kings went on a scoring drought and gave up the lead but a Bogdanovic three made it a two-point deficit at the end of the first half. Walker scored 14 while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist gave nine points off the bench including a three which he struggles with. Cauley-Stein had eight points and ten rebounds at the half but was 4-9 from the field. Fox had 12 points and was 8-8 from the line. Bogdanovic led the Kings with 13 off the bench on 5-6 shooting, which the Kings desperately needed. Iman Shumpert was a cold 1-6 shooting and Buddy Hield was 3-10 overall, 2-7 from three.

The third quarter wasn’t the best, but the Kings came back and took the lead. Sacramento outscored Charlotte 25-17 in the quarter. Walker led Charlotte with 22 while Fox led Sacramento with 19. We saw Fox swipe Walker for two points as well. Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles gave good minutes and Hield saw a three go in as the Kings took an 82-76 lead going into the fourth.

It was a real battle in the fourth quarter, but Sacramento was able to keep the lead and close out the win. The Kings pulled away to a twelve-point lead and it seemed like they were well on their way to the win. However, Charlotte answered with a fast 9-0 run and it became a game again. Hield came up big with his shot and Fox was brilliant as well. Sacramento is now 22-21 on the season.

Best Players

Bogdan Bogdanovic had a really good game off the bench with 22 points, six rebounds, and two assists. It was good to see Bogi start the ball shooting so well, even though he didn’t shoot as well in the second half. Still, he made key shots when it mattered.

De’Aaron Fox had a really good all around game with 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block in 30 minutes. I loved seeing him pick Walker’s pocket for a fastbreak dunk.

Buddy Hield was shooting very poor for most of the game but again, shooters shoot and Hield made a key floater and a big three in the fourth to help keep and build their lead. Hield had 21 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Marvin Bagley’s shooting percentage didn’t look great (5-13) but still finished with 11 points, nine rebounds, one steal and one block in 25 minutes. I love watching his nonstop motor make plays for the team.

Willie Money Watch

Willie had another good game today, finishing with 12 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. He was 6-11 from the field but if he can work on finishing around the rim better, he’ll have better shooting percentages.

Notable Stats

Sacramento was 8-12 from the free throw line. Fox made all eight attempts.

Charlotte won the rebound battle 56-49, but Sacramento had more assists at 27-21.

Charlotte had 20 turnovers, eight more than their average. Sacramento had 11. It’s strange to see the Kings with only four fast break points, since they get 20 almost every game.

The Game in One Sentence

Harry Giles is looking better and better at every aspect of his game.

Next Game

The Kings host the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday at 7:00 PM PST. Sacramento lost a tough one in their matchup a few games ago.