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Kings 95, Hornets 114: Bad start to the road trip

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The first quarter and opening minutes of the second started really well for the Kings, then they collapsed.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

This was a really rough way to open the six game road trip. The Sacramento Kings had opened the game with a 15-3 lead and were also up by 11 in the second quarter. They then proceeded to do everything wrong like no ball movement, turnovers and poor defense. The game was pretty much over at the half because the effort just wasn’t there.

A 15-0 run by the Kings after Jeremy Lamb made a three was a perfect way to open the game on the road. Buddy Hield was responsible for nine of those points, all coming on threes. However, the Hornets made a run to get back in the game and eventually came within four. The quarter would close 25-20, with Hield leading the Kings with nine and De’Aaron Fox had four assists. For Charlotte, Kemba Walker had five points along with Willy Hernangomez’s five off the bench.

That was an absolute awful performance by Sacramento in the second half. Bogdan Bogdanovic was huge early off the bench, going 5/5 from the field with 11 points and two assists. Marvin Bagley was also good off the bench with 10 points, four rebounds and an assist. But Charlotte’s bench was much better than Sacramento’s, with Tony Parker scoring eight, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with 13 and Hernangomez going up to seven. Charlotte outscored Sacramento 43-25 in the second because the Kings lacked ball movement, missed too many shots and gave the ball away far too often. Hield led Sacramento with 12 points but the team trailed 63-50 at the half.

Sacramento did outscore Charlotte 23-20 in the third, but it still wasn’t enough to make it close. The Hornets did go up by 16 early on but the Kings were able to cut into the lead and make it six. They couldn’t cut any further and the wound opened again as the Hornets took a 83-71 lead. A late Yogi Ferrell basket made it 83-73 at the end of the third. Doug Christie and Grant Napear were talking about how the score being stuck at 74-67 for a while was what the Kings would look back at regardless. It’s a fair point but their second quarter struggles were definitely the cause of their problems in the game. Walker led Charlotte with 19 and Hield led Sacramento with 17.

Charlotte’s lead grew to 20 in the fourth, but the starters came back in and made an effort to make it a game. As you can guess, they couldn’t. They got cold at the wrong times, missing looks they need to make, turning it over carelessly and allowing points on the defensive side. The Kings are now 23-22, still above .500, but a tough loss nonetheless.

Best Players

Bogdan Bogdanovic had another good game off the bench, but was pretty quiet in the second half. He finished with 17 points in 27 minutes on 8-13 shooting with two assists, one rebound and one steal.

Buddy Hield was hot early on, got quiet, made more shots but it wasn’t enough. He led the Kings with 24 points on 9-18 shooting and 6-11 from three. Hield also had two steals, one assist and one rebound.

Marvin Bagley off the bench had 15 points on 6-11 shooting with eight rebounds and one assist in 23 minutes.

Willie Money Watch

In 27 minutes, Willie had eight points on 4-6 shooting along with 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block on Kemba Walker. His starting counterpart, Bismack Biyombo, only played nine minutes but another Willy with the last name of Hernangomez had 11 points and 16 rebounds.

Notable Stats

Sacramento was a very poor 6-13 from the free throw line.

Sacramento was out-rebounded 46-42, but had more assists at 28-21.

Kings turned it over 18 times and only had seven fast break points.

Charlotte won the paint battle 52-38.

Next Game

The Kings travel to Detroit next to take on the Pistons this Saturday at 4:00 PM PST. Blake Griffin should be available this time so it’ll be a tough matchup. It will be the second night of a back-to-back for Detroit.