Kings four game win streak ends as they fall to Charlotte 99-85

by Charlie O. Mallonee

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings four-game winning streak came to a screeching halt on Saturday as they lost to the Charlotte Hornets 99-85. The Buzz City team was in desperate need of a win to stop a five-game losing slide that had them falling farther away from the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Kings (25-34) looked sluggish early on in the game which is to be expected. After experiencing the huge high of the win over Denver on Thursday without DeMarcus Cousins on the roster, the team was really set up to have a let down. Facing a Hornets (25-33) team that has been playing poorly, it was really easy for the young team not to come in pumped up and ready to conquer.

Even after a less than spectacular first half the Kings trailed by just 11 at halftime. It was the opening 4:33 of the third quarter that did Sacramento in and led them to a loss. The Kings did not score until Ben McLemore hit a 3-point bucket at the 7:27 mark but by then the Hornets had opened up a 23-point lead. Charlotte would continue to ride that big lead for the remainder of the contest.

This is going to be the reality of watching this young team over the final 23 games of the season. They will at times look brilliant, full of energy and unstoppable. At other times, they are going to look tired, confused and inept. That is just the reality of having a young roster filled in with seasoned veterans. Sometimes it will be fun and sometimes it won’t.

Labissiere with a smooth move to the hoop Photo NBAE

Kings head coach Dave Joerger on the game

“Guys battled. I think we spend a lot of emotion as talked about in pregame of the game the other night. Tonight the was a situation where you had a team that is a veteran team, a very physical team. They pushed us around the court most of the night with their size and their experience at all positions. I’m not talking about just in the middle, we were okay in the middle. But twos, threes and fours – they took us out of some stuff. We didn’t do a great job finishing at the rim and in the paint. We were 15-for-34 in the paint and had a tough night shooting. So hats off to them. They’re a good team, and they’ve got a chance to get in the playoffs too.”

Evans drives to the basket Photo NBAE


  • Ben McLemore was the Kings leading scorer with 18 points. Ben Mac had a slow start and found his rhythm when he drove the baseline for a slam. It seamed to jolt him alive and he finished shooting 7-for-15
  • Rookie Buddy Hield had a solid game coming off the bench to score 15 points while shooting 5-for-10 from the field in his 26-minutes of playing time
  • Anthony Tolliver made an impact early in the game especially with the 3-ball. Tolliver finished with 11 points going 3-for-6 from 3-point land
  • Tyreke Evans made his presence known with 11 points, five assists and five rebounds in 22 minutes on the floor
  • Darren Collison had a solid game at the point scoring 10 points while dishing out five assists
  • Skal Labissiere had a very nice game scoring eight points and grabbing 13 rebounds (3 offensive). Labissiere is looking very comfortable on the floor
  • Willie Cauley-Stein had a tough game scoring just two points and grabbing only two rebounds


  • Big Frank Kaminsky was the man for Charlotte. He scored a game-high 23 points shooting 5-for-9 from behind the 3-point line. Kaminsky also hauled in 13 rebounds for a double-double game
  • Forward Marvin Williams added 16 points while Nicholas Batum put up 15 points despite shooting just 4-for-17 from the floor
  • Kemba Walker had a very quiet game scoring just 12 points while distributing six assists
  • Former King Marco Belinelli scored 13 points shooting 4-for-7 including two 3-point baskets

Up Next

The Kings will be back in action Monday when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at Golden 1 Center. The Kings are 2-0 versus the T-Wolves this season.

The Hornets have to go back to work on Sunday night in Los Angeles when they will play the Clippers at the Staples Center.

A Malachi Richardson Medical Update


The Kings rookie shooting guard who suffered a partial tear of the right hamstring continues to rehab the injury. There is still no date for his return to action but there is no need for surgery which is good news for the player and the team.

Kings work as team and earn a big 109-106 win in Charlotte

Cousins drives to the hoop in Charlotte Photo NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings could have easily rolled into Charlotte with their heads hung low after losing a tough game in overtime in Indiana on Friday night. After all, it was the second game of a back-to-back set on the road and no road team wins those games anyway, but that is not what happened on Saturday night.

The Kings came out from the opening tip-off looking like a team that had just finished two days of rest. They ran the court, made crisp passes, looked for the extra pass, sank 3-point baskets and played defense. Literally, the Kings had shaken off the disappointment of losing to the Pacers and were focusing on beating the Hornets.

The Kings did exactly that. They beat the Charlotte Hornets 109-106 on the road. The Hornets came into the game having lost three consecutive games. They desperately were looking for the magic of the home court advantage to work for them and it almost did. What the Hornets did not count on was the new found togetherness that Kings have developed on this road trip that has them playing as a team and not individuals. That makes Sacramento (19-28) a very dangerous opponent.

The Kings have learned how to start games fast and strong. On Saturday, the Kings shot 50-percent from the floor while going 6-for-15 (40-percent) from beyond the 3-point line putting up 52 points on the board in the first half. Sacramento also played tough defense holding the Hornets to 44 points on 42.9-percent shooting. Charlotte hit just 3-of-18 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc which is normally a strong point for them. Their All-Star guard Kemba Walker was limited to six points.

In the third period, the Hornets (23-25) came alive to no one’s surprise. It was Kemba Walker who led the charge scoring 20 of the Hornets 33 points in the quarter. Charlotte shot 66.7-percent from the floor and for 3-pointers. The Charlotte crowd came alive as their team was working their way back into the game. It is also important to note the Kings shot 54.5-percent in the quarter while Cousins and Collison scored 11 points each. Each team scored 33 points in the third period. At the end of 36-minutes, the Kings held an 85-77 lead.

The game took a sudden change of momentum early in the fourth quarter as the Hornets cut the Kings lead to just three points in under just two minutes behind the 3-point shooting of Nicolas Batum and Frank Kaminsky. Sacramento pushed it back to an eight-point lead but then things went downhill.

The Hornets hit five 3-point baskets in the fourth quarter and took the lead in the game with 2:19 remaining on a 3-point field goal by Marvin Williams. The Kings tied the game at 106 each and gained control of the ball with 31-seconds to go in the contest.

Following a Sacramento timeout, the Kings put the ball in the hands of DeMarcus Cousins who drove on the basket from the right wing to make the layup and give his team a two-point lead. With 14-seconds left, the Hornets hopes fell to a 3-point shot by Kaminsky which came up short and was rebounded by Cousins who was fouled. Cousins hit 1-of-2 free throws to give his team the 109-106 victory.

Sacramento Kings v Charlotte Hornets
Darren Collison scored 17 points against the Hornets Photo NBAE

Cousins on the win

  • We’re understanding better – we can win by playing together
  • (we’re playing) team oriented defense
  • The “iso” style is out of play
  • The only way we win game is playing together

Who did what in the game


  • DeMarcus Cousins scored a game-high 35 points and pulled down 18 rebounds to record his 12th consecutive double-double game. Cousins also had four assists and seven of his rebounds came on offense which extended possessions
  • Anthony Tolliver scored 14 points hitting on 4-of-8 shots from long range. Those 3-point baskets seemed crush the Hornets momentum each time. He also grabbed seven rebounds
  • Willie Cauley-Stein played 14-minutes of impressive basketball against the Hornets. He shot 6-for-7 from the floor for 13 points and made his presence known on the floor
  • Other key contributors: Darren Collison 17 points, Arron Afflalo 13 points and 4 assists
  • Team numbers: 51.9-percent Field Goals, 11-for-27 (40.7-percent) 3-pt Field Goals, 27 assists and just 10 turnovers that resulted in just nine Hornet points
Sacramento Kings v Charlotte Hornets
Willie Cauley-Stein had a big game for the Kings Photo NBAE


  • Kemba Walker led the Hornets scoring with 26 points (20 in the third quarter). He did not score any points in the fourth quarter. Seven assists
  • Nicolas Batum put up 19 points that included hitting 3-of-6 for 3-pointers. He also had seven assists
  • Former Sacramento King Spencer Hawes scored 12 points off the bench and grabbed seven rebounds. He also tried to get DeMarcus Cousins ejected from the game (see below)
  • Team numbers: 48-percent Field Goals, 32.4-percent 3-pt FGs, 22-for-24 (91.7-percent) from the free throw line
NBA: Sacramento Kings at Charlotte Hornets
All-Star Kemba Walker scored 20 points in the 3rd quarter Photo NBAE

Dave Joerger’s postgame analysis

  • Good NBA game – both teams played hard
  • We’ve been playing much better lately and we showed some resiliency tonight coming back on the second night of a back-to-back
  • Kemba Walker was fantastic especially in the third quarter
  • We’re getting better at the little things-taking care of the ball
  • We had (only) three turnovers in the second half which has been a problem for us. We executed there

Oh no – Tech foul number 13

DeMarcus Cousins and Spencer Hawes were both assessed a technical foul with three minutes to go in the first half of the game. Cousins had just made a layup and was fouled by Hawes. After the foul, there were a few words and very (VERY) minor pushes with one hand from each player. It was really a nothing moment that happens in virtually every NBA game nightly.

Neither player ( and believe me when I say that I am no fan of Hawes ) deserved to be hit with a tech foul. A verbal warning from the referee would have been more than sufficient.

Being the agitator that he is – Hawes kept trying to get under Cousins skin in the second half because a second technical would have meant an automatic ejection. To Cousins credit, he just ignored Hawes.

For Cousins, this is his 13th technical foul of the season. When he reaches 16, it is an automatic one-game suspension with another one-game suspension for each two tech fouls after that. The Kings cannot afford to be without Cousins for one quarter let alone for an entire game.

I would not be surprised to see this technical reversed because it was really too much – too soon for what was happening between the players.

Up next on the schedule

The Kings travel to Philadelphia on Sunday where they will play the Sixers on Monday to make up the game that was postponed on November 30 due to a wet court. The 76ers play the Bulls in Chicago on Sunday. Joel Embiid will not travel to Chicago so there is anticipation he will be available to play against the Kings on Monday. It will be a 4 p.m. tipoff on the West Coast.

The Hornets will head out on the road to play Portland on Tuesday.


The Warriors rally in the fourth quarter to defeat a very determined Charlotte Hornets team

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Warriors met the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday night in Charlotte. The game with the Hornets was the last stop on a four-game road trip. The Warriors were looking to rebound after a very tough loss Monday in Miami. In fact, the Warriors had three tough games in a row. They struggled to beat Orlando. They struggled in the loss to Miami, and they struggled until halfway through the fourth quarter. They were down by five at the end of the third period. Every time they tried to close the gap in the fourth quarter, they were rebuffed by the Hornets.About halfway through the period, the Warriors found their game and led by Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, they pulled away to record the win 113-103.

The Hornets, coached by Steve Clifford, do not like to run. They, like the Memphis Grizzlies, utilize a deliberate style of play and use a lot of the clock. They also were dominant on the boards, especially getting offensive rebounds, and kept the Warriors from getting too far ahead. The Warriors got off to a good start. Steph Curry scored thirteen, and Kevin Durant had nine, and they were ahead by six 19-13. Charlotte played strong defense and closed the gap to one 29-28 after 12 minutes of play. In the second quarter, Klay Thompson was the man. The Dubs were getting him the ball, and Klay responded with seven. The Warriors, however, could not get separation from Charlotte and the half ended with Golden State ahead by 6 53-47.

In the third quarter, the Hornets outscored the Warriors 33-22 and led by five after three periods. Charlotte started the quarter on a 19-4 run. The Warriors looked like they were out of sync and didn’t get going until late in the quarter. They closed the gap to just two, but the Hornets’ Kemba Walker was fouled making a 3-point attempt with just 1.5 seconds left. Walker made the freebies, and the Hornets led 80-75 heading into the fourth and final period of play. Klay Thompson made 3 free throws to start the quarter, and the Dubs trailed by one.

The Warriors rallied to tie the score at 85. At this point, the refs called Klay for a foul on a three-point shot by former Warrior, Marco Belinelli. Klay, who never loses his cool on the court, and really was angry that he was called for the foul. The refs hit him with a technical and Belinelli mad all four free throws. The replay showed that Klay never touched Belinelli and it was a bad and costly call.

Belinelli was fouled again making a 3-pointer, and he made all three shots again. The Warriors decided it was time to shut the Hornets down. They went small as they installed Draymond Green at the center position. Kevin Durant came to life and scored 16 points in the fourth quarter. KD drove the lane and was fouled several times. He did not miss a free throw. The Hornets could not defend him.With the score 99-96 in favor of the Dubs, Steph hit a three-pointer to put the Dubs up 102-96. The Warriors defense throttled the Hornets, and they were able to pull away and won the game 113-103. It was a dogfight for all 48 minutes.

Game Notes and Stats. The Warriors are now 39-7 while Charlotte falls to 23-23. Kevin Durant led the Dubs with 33 points, 2 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Steph’s line was 28 points, 6 assists, 2 boards, and he mad six 3-point shots. Klay scored 19. Draymond pitched in with 13 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. James Michael McAdoo had a nice game coming off the bench as he added 8 points and had 7 rebounds.

Charlottes’ leading scorer was Kemba Walker with 26. Marvin Williams had 14, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 15, Nicolas Batum 16, Marco Belinelli 14. Spencer Hawes had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Warriors committed 12 turnovers which led to 21 Hornet points. The Dubs scored 28 fast break points, and the Hornets managed to score just 4. Points-in-the-paint went to Charlotte 52-40. The Warriors extended the NBA record to 132 games without 2 losses in a row.

Steph Curry was honored at his high school in Charlotte when they retired Steph’s number. Davidson College also honored Steph by naming “Section 30” at Belk Arena for Steph. The NBA fined Zaza Pachulia $15,000 for hitting a player at the game in Miami Monday night.

The Warriors return home to face the Los Angeles Clipper on Saturday. Game time is at 5:30 pm. The Warriors then play a back-to-back game Sunday in Portland against the Trailblazers. Game time for that contest is at 5 pm.

Walker’s season-high trumps Curry’s

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

By Pearl Allison Lo

Despite Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry’s season-high 43 points, the Charlotte Bobcats’ Kemba Walker’s season-high tying 31 points, was the one that counted in a 115-111 last minute victory Monday.

Curry also had 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 blocks while Walker had 5 rebounds and 5 assists as the teams met for the first time this season.

The Warriors did not really factor in the first half as they put up 37 three pointers over the course of the game.

With 21 seconds left in the game, Walker, went 6 of 8 from the free throw line, missing two right before Curry made it 109-111 with 11 seconds left and another three pointer. However, Curry could not make two more three pointers, including one from 40 feet out, as Walker went perfect his last four times from the line to seal the game.

Charlotte was never behind the whole game and built up a nine point lead during the 1st quarter. Within the first four minutes, Golden State had already attempted three three pointers and the Bobcats’ Al Jefferson was active on both ends, grabbing five rebounds and going 1 of 4 from the floor. Off a steal with 7:47 left to go, Charlotte’s  Josh McRoberts assisted Walker on a layup and then scored a three pointer less than 30 seconds later, when Walker assisted him off a defensive rebound. The Warriors went 0 for 8 from the three point line, while the Bobcats only attempted one, which they missed.

 In the 2nd quarter, Charlotte led by as many as 14 points and both teams went scoreless for over two minutes.

Golden State turned up the heat in the third, scoring 36 points, on 7 of 14 three pointers. The Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had three apiece. With 2:44 left in the quarter, Golden State cut the lead down from 13 to 6, attempting four three pointers in a row, making the first two, and one with less than a minute to go. The Bobcats had their biggest lead of 15 points during the quarter.

Thompson made it 80-83 with a three pointer to lead off the 4th quarter. Curry’s second free throw with 8:52 left and fourth consecutive of the quarter, tied the game at 88 apiece. However, four fouls by the Warriors, including two steals by Ben Gordon, and three three pointers from Charlotte, gave the Bobcats back a double digit lead. A three by Curry made it 102-107 with 2:28 left to go as Golden State made another comeback. The Warriors also had an over 30 second sequence in which they eventually scored and could have gotten more.

Game notes: Golden State had two technical fouls during the game. David Lee had a double double with a season-high 16 rebounds and 14 points and Josh McRoberts had one with 10 rebounds and 11 points. The Warriors next play Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks.