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Kings 111, Hornets 118: 0-5

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It. Gets. Worse.

Kimani Okearah

The argument of “it’s only five games” and “don’t overreact” don’t apply to members of the Kings fanbase. After 13 years of no playoff basketball, there was legitimate hope that this could be the year that drought came to an end. After five games with a better roster and a new coach, nothing has changed and nothing probably will change. The Kings are playing with no energy after halftime excluding the presence of Richaun Holmes. Sacramento is now 0-5 and it probably is going to be worse before this gets better.

Quarterly Recap

A lineup change saw Richaun Holmes inserted with the starters and to not much surprise, the Kings’ energy was there right away. Charlotte turned the ball over constantly (7 in total) with bad passes which eventually led to a 31-20 Sacramento lead, but they didn’t close out the quarter so well. The Hornets ended the first on a 10-2 run to make it 33-30. PJ Washington led his team with eight points on 3-3 shooting, including one good look from deep with three rebounds and two assists. The Kings only turned the ball over twice and were led by good efforts from Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes. Barnes did miss multiple layups down low, but stole the ball three times.

The Kings’ bench gave good minutes to open the second quarter and Wenyen Gabriel got minutes over Dewayne Dedmon. They jumped to a 49-35 lead with stops on defense and converting the other way, something they’ve failed to do through four games. Despite having a good lead for much of the quarter, the Kings again didn’t close out the quarter good and Charlotte made it a 66-61 game at the half. Washington continued to ball out for the Hornets with 17 points on 7-7 shooting and Cody Zeller grabbed nine rebounds. Barnes led Sacramento with 14 points on 6-12 shooting, Nemanja Bjelica added 11 on 5-5 shooting, and Holmes also had 11 points and five rebounds. Fox posted eight points and six assists.

Third quarter woes continued to hamper any momentum the Kings wanted to build. After two quarters with more than 30 points, they only managed to score 18 to Charlotte’s 32. Charlotte also caught fire from three, finishing the quarter at 15-29 (51.7%). Terry Rozier now had 20 points and five assists, Malik Monk added 13 off the bench with three three pointers and Devonte’ Graham chipped in 10 off the bench. Holmes led the Kings with 17 points on 8-9 shooting with eight rebounds and three blocks. Bogdan Bogdanovic had nine points off the bench but shot 1-6 from three and Dewayne Dedmon made his first appearance late in the period.

The Kings did outscore the Hornets in the fourth quarter 27-25 but that’s because they made some plays to get inside single digits to end the game. The Hornets held a comfortable double-digit lead for most of the quarter and fans started leaving the game early with boos raining down.

Notable Players

Richaun Holmes finished with 17 points on 8-10 shooting, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks.

Harrison Barnes played 40 minutes and posted 22 points on 10-18 shooting, seven rebounds, one assist and three steals.

Buddy Hield led the team with 23 points on 7-16 shooting from three with four assists and two steals.

De’Aaron Fox had 16 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds, one block and two steals. He was 6-16 from the field.

Notable Stats

Sacramento had 15 turnovers to Charlotte’s 21.

The Kings were 14-46 from three (30.4%) to the Hornets’ 16-32 shooting from deep (50%).

Charlotte won the rebound battle 46-39 and assist battle 30-26.

The Kings had 19 fast break points.

Next Game

The Kings host the Utah Jazz on Friday at 7:00 p.m. PST. Utah will be coming off a win against the Los Angeles Clippers and already blew out the Kings last Saturday.