Kings open new year with blowout loss to Hornets
A NIGHT TO FORGET
SACRAMENTO -- Trouble on the homefront. After a big win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to start the six-game homestand, the Sacramento Kings threw up their third straight loss Tuesday night at Golden 1 Center.
Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Nic Batum and the rest of the Charlotte Hornets led by 20 at the intermission. They never looked back, coming away with the 131-111 victory.
The starting frontline Zach Randolph and Skal Labissiere put up solid numbers, but the Kings turned the ball over 10 times before the break and Charlotte took advantage.
Walker scored 12 points and dished out 10 assists for Charlotte. Howard added 20 points and eight rebounds, while Batum chipped in 21 on 8-of-12 shooting.
STANDOUT PERFORMER II
Randolph did his best to keep Howard in check and he carried the load offensively. The 17-year vet dropped in a team-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds in the loss.
STANDOUT PERFORMER III
Labissiere went to work on the glass. With a nice size advantage over Marvin Williams, the second-year big picked up a rare double-double, finishing the night with 17 points and 15 rebounds in 28 minutes of action. He was active early and created his own opportunities.
The Kings shaved the Hornets lead down to 11 in the early third quarter, but they couldn’t string enough stops together to get back in the game. Charlotte pushed the lead back to 20 and Dave Joerger let the young guys finish the game.
De’Aaron Fox returned to action to score 17 points and hand out four assists after missing the previous six games with a slight tear to the right quad. Frank Mason III is out for at least a week with a right heel contusion. Harry Giles is out due to bilateral knee rehab and the team has yet to update his status moving forward.
The Kings continue their six-game homestand with the Denver Nuggets on Saturday followed by another matchup with the San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 8. They’ll fly to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers on Jan. 9 before playing the Clippers at Golden 1 Center Jan. 11.