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Kings vs. Hornets Preview: A Royal Affair in Queen City

The landscape of tonight’s contest looks entirely different than it did just one month ago.

Sacramento Kings v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings will open up their three-game road swing this afternoon as they take on a Charlotte Hornets team plagued by the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols.

Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball, Jalen McDaniels, Mason Plumlee, Terry Rozier and Ish Smith have been ruled out tonight due to Covid-19 protocol, a scenario Sacramento has been fortunate enough to avoid in this season.

The last time these two teams met looked very different, and tonight is arguably a brand new ballgame for Sacramento just as much as it is for Charlotte. The Kings hosted the Hornets on November 5, breaking the franchise record in 3-pointers made at 23. Their 30-point victory over Charlotte was the final feather in Walton’s cap before things took a downward turn in the two weeks following.

Fast forward five weeks, the Kings are now under a new interim head coach in Alvin Gentry on a three-game winning streak for the first time this season. Sacramento has momentum to build on in the changes that have been made rotationally, and should take advantage of the absences of Charlotte’s big names.

However, the Hornets still boast offensive threats in Miles Bridges and Gordon Hayward. Averaging 20.2 points and 7.2 rebounds on the season, Bridges is capable of explosion at both ends of the floor, something that Sacramento will need to defend as he will look to take advantage of more touches with his teammates out.

The Kings will be without Richaun Holmes, who suffered a right eye injury in Wednesday’s win over the Orlando Magic. The Kings shared that Holmes underwent a procedure to repair the laceration successfully, and will miss at least the next two contests.

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

Opposing Perspective: At the Hive

SAC injuries/absences: Richaun Holmes - Out (Eye)

CHA injuries/absences: LaMelo Ball - Out (Health and Safety Protocol), Jalen McDaniels - Out (Health and Safety Protocol), Mason Plumlee - Out (Health and Safety Protocol), Terry Rozier - Out (Health and Safety Protocol), Ish Smith - Out (Health and Safety Protocol)