Charlotte Hornets

Report: Tony Parker leaving Spurs for Hornets

Report: Tony Parker leaving Spurs for Hornets

Tony Parker’s time in San Antonio is over, after 17 seasons and four NBA championships.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations says Parker has agreed to sign a two-year, $10 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets. The person spoke to AP on condition of anonymity Friday because the deal has not been signed.

Parker lost his starting role with the Spurs last season. The move to Charlotte reunites him with former Spurs assistant James Borrego, who became the head coach in Charlotte earlier this offseason.

Parker averaged career-lows of 7.7 points and 19.5 minutes last season. The six-time All-Star is the No. 4 all-time scorer in Spurs history and the franchise’s career assists leader.

He was part of 137 playoff wins with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, the second most by any coach and player in NBA history. Popovich and Spurs legend Tim Duncan combined for 157 playoff wins. Parker has also appeared in 17 consecutive postseasons; only Karl Malone and John Stockton’s run of 19 straight playoff trips are longer.

Sloppiness with and without the ball dooms Kings to third straight loss

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USATSI

Sloppiness with and without the ball dooms Kings to third straight loss

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings are moving the wrong direction. After three straight losses at home to teams at the bottom of the standings, it’s time for the club to have some serious conversations.

Sacramento played hot potato with the ball in the half, handing over the rock 10 times before the intermission, which led to 18 points for Charlotte. They allowed 72 points at the break and trailed by 20 heading into the third.

“We came out two of the first three possessions and dribbled the ball off our leg to the other team,” head coach Dave Joerger said following the team’s 131-111 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday evening. “Nobody is trying to do that and we’ve just got to keep plugging away.”

The starting backcourt of George Hill and De’Aaron Fox accounted for five of those early mistakes as Charlotte built a huge lead. Most of the Kings’ mistakes led to easy transition baskets for the Hornets.

“We’re just trying to figure it out,” Skal Labissiere said. “Tonight we turned the ball over a lot - I think it was the story of the game.”

Not only were the Kings sloppy with the ball, but they offered little resistance to the Hornets on the defensive end.

“We don’t guard a soul, haven’t defended a soul,” a clearly frustrated Garrett Temple said. “If you don’t guard in the NBA, you’re going to lose every game, I don’t care who you play. We haven’t defended whatsoever, at all, point blank.”

Charlotte, a team that came into the night with a record of 13-23, ran circles around the Kings’ defense. They shot a blistering 57.3 percent from the field and matched their season-high with 15 made 3-point attempts.

“There are times as a young team where we score, then we relax defensively or we’re playing faster and we relax defensively a lot,” Joerger said. “It’s like, ‘your turn, our turn, your turn, our turn.’”

To compound matters, the Kings forced the Hornets into just three turnovers on the evening. It’s hard to keep up when you get outscored 20-5 on points off of turnovers.

There were a few positives to take away from the loss. Fox returned to action after missing six games with a right quad tear. He finished the night with 17 points and four assists in 33 minutes of action, although eight of those points came once the game was out of reach in the fourth.

“I thought for my first game being back, playing that many minutes, that was good for me,” Fox said. “Just trying to get my wind back.”

Zach Randolph continued to put up numbers for Sacramento, dropping in 24 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes.

Labissiere started alongside Z-Bo on the front line and added 17 points and a season-high 15 boards. It was only the second double-double of the season for the Kings’ power forward.

With the loss, Sacramento fell to 6-11 on their home floor this season and 12-25 overall. They’ll get three days of practice to prepare for the high-powered Denver Nuggets on Saturday evening and then wrap up the homestand Monday against the San Antonio Spurs.

Gameday: Battle down low is the matchup to watch as Kings host Hornets

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AP

Gameday: Battle down low is the matchup to watch as Kings host Hornets

SACRAMENTO -- Fresh off a tough loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday evening, the Sacramento Kings return to their home court to start the new year Tuesday. They’ll face an underachieving Charlotte Hornets team that’s still struggling to find their way.

The Kings put up one of their worst performances of the season against Memphis, falling behind by as many as 33 on their home floor. Willie Cauley-Stein put up solid numbers, finishing with 21 points and eight rebounds, but he was one of just three Sacramento players to score in double-figures in the 114-96 loss.

Charlotte is a veteran team that’s fallen on hard times. Coach Steve Clifford’s team shoots the lowest field goal percentage in the league at 43.5 percent, but they get to the free throw line an NBA best 27.8 times per game.

OPENING LINE:
Hornets by 3.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Dwight Howard -- There was a time when Howard was the most feared big man in the game. He isn’t the player he once was, but he still manages to average 15.6 points and 12.3 rebounds per game in his 14th season in the NBA. Cauley-Stein is improving with each month, posting 13.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in December. The 24-year-old big man is heading in the right direction, but he’ll need to work overtime to keep Howard off the glass.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 12-24, fourth place in Pacific

Hornets: 13-23, third place in Southeast

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: PG De’Aaron Fox (thigh tear) is available to play, PG Frank Mason III (right heel contusion) will miss at least one week of action, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) is out and the team has yet to give a timetable for his return.

Hornets: C Cody Zeller (knee) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
Battle on the Boards -- Charlotte is one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA, coming in at No. 4 with 46.7 boards per game. Sacramento has struggled on the glass, grabbing just 39.9 rebounds a night, which ranks 29th in the league. They’ll need to keep a body on Howard and rebound as a team or the Hornets could have a field day.

Home Court Advantage -- The Kings are in the middle of a six-game homestand and so far, it’s been a little rocky. After beating the Cavs, Sacramento has dropped two winnable games to the Suns and Grizzlies. They sit at 6-10 at Golden 1 Center this season, despite sellout crowds every night.

Mason out, Fox in -- Frank Mason injured his heel in the Kings loss to Memphis on Sunday and left on crutches. He’'ll miss at least one week. De’Aaron Fox has practiced, and was cleared to play by the Kings.

SERIES HISTORY:
This is the first of two matchups between these two teams this season after a 1-1 split of the series last year. The Hornets hold a 28-26 advantage over the Kings all-time.  

QUOTE:
“We got our butt kicked. It’s not fun losing. We’ve got to figure it out.” -George Hill after the Kings’ loss to the Grizzlies