Kings Takeaways: What We Learned in 118-111 Home Loss to Hornets


SACRAMENTO -- The boo birds came out.

After dropping their fifth consecutive game to start the 2019-20 NBA season, the Kings are in a tailspin, and the Golden 1 Center crowd let them have it.

The Kings led at halftime, but they again came out in the third quarter with a lackluster effort on both ends of the court. The Charlotte Hornets diced up the Kings' defense in the second half and took down the home team 118-111.

P.J. Washington (23 points, eight rebounds) and Terry Rozier (22 points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals, two blocks) led the way for the Hornets (2-3), but it was a team effort for coach James Borrego's squad.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings continued their slide and fell to 0-5 to start the season.

Third-quarter blues

The Kings can't shake it. No matter how well they play in the first half, they can't seem to come out with the same energy and enthusiasm in the third quarter.

After leading 66-61 at halftime, the Kings were outscored 32-18 in the 12 minutes coming out of intermission.

Sacramento continued to hoist ill-advised 3-pointers, and sagged off Charlotte shooters on the other end. The result was an 93-84 deficit heading into the fourth quarter and eventually another loss.

Behind the 3-ball

Luke Walton wanted 35 3-pointers per game from his Kings. The coach might want to back off that idea.

Sacramento shot just 14 of 47 (29.8 percent) from long range, including a brutal 2-for-11 evening from reserve Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Not only could the Kings not hit the triple, they also failed to defend it. The Hornets lit up the Kings for 16-of-32 shooting from long range on their way to the seven-point victory.

The Kings' offense is struggling, and they look very one dimensional at this point.

Changing of the ... center

Fresh off a breakout 24-point, 12-rebound double-double Monday, Richaun Holmes moved into the Kings' starting lineup Wednesday over veteran Dewayne Dedmon and went to work.

Holmes dropped in 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting, and added 10 rebounds, two steals and three blocks in 35 minutes of action.

The 6-foot-10 center's energy is contagious. He's active around the rim at all times, and his teammates are starting to feed him for open dunks.

The Kings will have a decision to make when Marvin Bagley gets back on the floor and the team needs more floor spacing, but for now, Holmes looks like the answer at the five.

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