Kings fall to Hornets 110-102 in Charlotte

Photo credit: @SacramentoKings

By Jeremiah Salmonson

The Sacramento Kings have not been at full strength since the first game of this 2019 season. Tuesday would mark the first time since then the Kings would have all players available. The matchup was the Sacramento Kings visiting the Charlotte Hornets. For Kings fans, they hoped Tuesday would mark the beginning of the season they could have had started if fully healthy.

In the first quarter, the Kings offense sputtered out of the gate. Sloppy ball handling and missed shots allowed the Hornets to only be trailing 9-7 with 6:00 left in the quarter. The rest of the way, the offense continued to sputter.

It’s hard to fault the Kings who are playing with lineups they haven’t seen all year.

Unfortunately, the offense looked a little lost in the first quarter something the Kings would look to remedy in the second quarter. All in all, the Kings put up 21 points compared to the Hornets 26. Leading scorer for the Kings thus far was Harrison Barnes with 5 points while Marvin Williams put up 8 for the Hornets.

In the second quarter, the Kings perimeter shooting continued to struggle. The Kings shot a mediocre 33.3% in the first half from downtown. That being said, they were able to put up 47 in the half. The Hornets didn’t play exceptionally well either, who shot an identical 33.3% from three, were able to put up 53 in the half to lead the Kings 53-47 going into halftime. The leading scorers in the game were De’Aaron Fox for the Kings with 11 points and Hornet Marvin Williams with 10 points. The Kings offense didn’t look smooth, but it wasn’t all red flags. De’Aaron Fox, after missing the last 17 games, looked good in the opening half. Sure the offense didn’t flow the same way it has in recent games, but the Kings are well on their way to getting the rhythm back.

In the second half, the Kings started to hit their three-point shots. The Kings shot much better from downtown making five threes and it makes a difference in the score. The Kings were able to put up 32 in the third out scoring the Hornets who added 27. In his return, De’Aaron Fox continued to lead the Kings putting up 15 points through three quarters. The Kings would try and do something they haven’t done all year on the road; win trailing after three quarters. The Kings went into the fourth trailing 80-79.

In the fourth quarter, the Kings faltered early. Hornets guard Malik Monk started hitting shots after struggling early and the Kings were in a 101-90 hole with 4:25 remaining. From there, the Kings weren’t able to muster anything against the Hornets. The Kings didn’t attack the basket with enough urgency as the Hornets were in foul trouble and that led to a disappointing defeat. The Kings dropped the first game of the road trip by a final of 110-102 in a game dominated by the Hornets in the fourth quarter. The Hornets ended up out scoring the Kings 30-23 in the fourth. The positive for Kings fans from this game was the return of a healthy De’Aaron Fox. Fox led the Kings with 19 points.

Up Next: The Kings travel to Indiana to take on the Pacers on Friday at 4 PM PST.