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Kings vs. Hornets Preview: Can the Kings climb back over .500?

Sactown and Buzz City meet for the first time in the young season.

Sacramento Kings v Charlotte Hornets Photo by NBAE via Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings will look to improve to 5-4 on the season Friday night in their first matchup of the season against the visiting Charlotte Hornets, who lost their most recent contest to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night in San Francisco.

Sacramento is coming off of a 112-99 win over the New Orleans Pelicans and will be hoping for another night of strong offense from De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and Harrison Barnes. On the other end, the Kings will need to keep Miles Bridges close to the vest. The fourth-year man out of Michigan State is having a breakout season, averaging 24 points and 8 rebounds through nine games.

But tonight’s contest will highlight two very special sophomores in LaMelo Ball and Haliburton. Both the second-year stars are coming off of stellar rookie campaigns, finishing in the top-three of Rookie of the Year voting with Ball taking home the hardware. The two have been compared throughout their young careers in terms of ability to impact their respective team’s success so early in their tenures, with tonight’s contest adding to that narrative.

A new addition in the Battle of the Draft Classes comes from Kings’ rookie Davion Mitchell and Hornets’ rookie James Bouknight. Mitchell famously had the No. 11 overall pick clamped at the Summer League tournament in Vegas, where his defense went viral in a series of sequences. Bouknight has not seen much playing time for Charlotte, taking the court in only three of their contests thus far. It would be a disservice to Hornets and Kings fans alike to not see these two go at it again, but another DNP for Charlotte’s rookie wouldn’t be a surprise.

How to Watch/Listen: NBC Sports California, Sports 1140 KHTK

Opposing Perspective: At the Hive

Spread: Kings -2

Moneyline: Kings -130, Hornets +110

SAC injuries: N/A

CHA injuries: PJ Washington - Out (Elbow)