Rajon Rondo recorded a franchise-high 20th assist on a time-expiring alley-oop to teammate Rudy Gay. Forcing overtime, this basket capped a 22-point deficit created in the third quarter. Only, it was the Kings that were in the lead just two quarters ago.
Giving up 21 to Kemba Walker in the fourth, the Charlotte Hornets were able to erase a 17 point lead as the quarter started. This was the second-largest comeback in franchise history.
To make matters worse, the Kings allowed a season-high for points in quarter during the fourth (38), right after they allowed a season-low in the 3rd (14).
“I should have substituted probably earlier and more often,” Karl said. “I thought we were going to win the game with the switching. We probably should have changed it up with more blitzing.”
Substitutions have played a big role in the lack of success for the Kings thus far and have lead to the mounting frustration of the fans and the players. Karl has continually tampered with the lineups and has yet to find a consistent role for any player not named DeMarcus Cousins or Rudy Gay.
Tonight, it was the transition to a small-ball lineup at the end of the third that lead to the monster run by the Charlotte Hornets. Karl once again was tampering with the two point guard lineup and the results of today illustrate the lack of efficiency.
The Kings couldn’t match up with Charlotte and they scored at will. Not only being mismatched with a much bigger front court of Zeller and Kaminsky, taking Rondo off-ball proved to be completely ineffective.
The Hornets were able to take the lead in the final seconds of the game as Walker drove by Rondo, only to find an uncontested layup. With one big-man in, the Kings had no protection in the paint. The offense had gone stale and went the final 4:52 of the game only scoring two points.
The Kings had lost DeMarcus Cousins towards the end of the fourth quarter with what is believed to be a sprained back. Cousins was the offense of the Sacramento Kings as he had 30 points and 11 rebounds.
Willie Cauley-Stein only saw eight minutes of playing time, as the bigs of the Hornets had a field day on the Kings’ weak interior defense. Frank Kaminsky not only finished the game with a +/- of +23 but he and Cody Zeller also combined for 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Ben McLemore had another great shooting night, finishing with 10 points on 4-6 shooting in just 19 minutes of output.
The Kings schedule doesn’t get much easier as they take on the Bucks this Wednesday and the Timberwolves on the 27th. As for the Hornets, they will host Washington as a part of their eight-game homestand.
Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)
|Game 1: Monday, November 23rd|
|Game 2: Monday, January 25th|
(5-10, 1-5 away)
(8-6, 6-1 home)
7:00 PM ET, November 23, 2015
Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
Sac: R. Rondo 14 Pts, 8 Reb, 20 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk
Cha: K. Walker 39 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 Blk