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What we learned in Kings' disheartening loss to Hornets

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The last time the Kings faced off with the Charlotte Hornets they did everything wrong in the final minute of the game and lost. Monday night at the Spectrum Center, it was deja vu all over again. 

The Kings led by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t close the deal. They missed shots, turned the ball over and couldn’t get defensive stops when they needed them.

Terry Rozier was a force for Charlotte and Gordon Hayward came up big late to Charlotte made it a clean sweep of the Kings by a final of 122-116.

The news got even worse for the Kings after the game as the team announced that third-year pro Marvin Bagley III sustained a fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his left hand during the first half. There's no immediate timetable for Bagley's absence, but he likely will miss significant time.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings found a way to lose once again to fall to 15-24 on the season.

Rookie battle

LaMelo Ball and Tyrese Haliburton have separated themselves from the pack for the Rookie of the Year trophy, with Ball holding an overall advantage mid-way through the season.

Ball has an ugly jumper, but he’s a whizz with the ball in his hands. He sets up his teammates and runs the Hornets offense with the maturity of an experienced vet. 

Haliburton has put on a show in his first season in the league, but he’s still working his way back into shape after missing four games with a calf injury.


Ball started off slowly, but finished with 16 points, four assists. Haliburton looked out of rhythm, posting four points, three assists and four rebounds. Ball won the battle and his team came out on top. It was a good night for the Hornet’s rookie. 

Playing angry

De’Aaron Fox picked up his third foul in the mid second quarter when he jumped a pass intended for Gordon Hayward. He wasn’t happy with the call and took it out on the Hornets.

Fox blew through Charlottes’ defense, scoring at will, like he has for the last few months. After a big first half, he came out in attack mode in the third.

Fox is taking another huge leap forward in his production. He finished the night with 29 points on 11-for-22 shooting and chipped in eight assists.

Filling up the box score

Richaun Holmes is rolling. The Kings’ center came into Monday night with back-to-back 20-point, 10-rebound double-doubles. He didn’t get to the 20 point mark, but he did everything else imaginable to try to get the win for the Kings.

Holmes extended his double-double streak to four games, finishing with 17 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and two steals. 

The 27-year-old center is a free agent at the end of the season and making himself a lot of money with his breakout year.