The Vlade Divac Armada Sinks 99-85 To Charlotte Hornets, Labissiere Grabs Career-High 13 Rebounds
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. – The Sacramento Kings rolled out the other night flowing with adrenalin when they beat the Denver Nuggets without DeMarcus Cousins. Against the Charlotte Hornets, the Kings came back down to earth.
Charlotte beat the Kings (25-34 overall, 13-16 G1C) soundly 99-85 to end a five-game losing streak. Frank Kaminsky had 23 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists for Charlotte. Marvin Williams added 16 points, six rebounds, and two steals.
The Kings made 31 of 79 shots from the field at 39.2 percent and were outrebounded by the Hornets ( (25-33, 9-20 road) on the boards 50-41. Charlotte arrived at Golden 1 Center losing 12 of their last 13 games. Obviously, the Hornets’ minds were on beating a revamped Kings squad.
“We spent a lot of emotions on the game on the other night,” said Kings head coach Dave Joerger. “Tonight was a situation where you got a veteran team, a physical team, and they pushed us around the court. They took us out some stuff and we didn't finish at the rim in the paint. Hats off to them. They have a chance to get into the playoffs, too.”
Sacramento Kings player Ty Lawson passes around Charlotte Hornets' Christian Wood at Golden 1 Center on Feb. 25. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey.
Ben McLemore led the Kings with 18 points, two rebounds, and one steal. Buddy Hield added 15 points and two assists while Tyreke Evans and Anthony Tolliver had 11 points each for the Kings, who were down by 23 points in the second half. The Hornets lead 51-40 at the break
“I think we learned from our past failures, I guess you could say,” Williams said of the Hornets. “We’ve played really well as of late. “Sacramento is going to be a really good team and they got a lot of new faces over there still learning each other.”
Teams that play Sacramento now that Cousins has been trade will have to adjust on the fly. In the same regard, the Kings must find way to find a comfort zone as well. Kaminsky made 5 of 9 shots beyond the arc, which is not unreasonable these days from a big man.
“It’s hard when you're playing a shooting big like that,” said Kings reserve center. “You’re trying to contain Kemba Walker, Batum, you’re trying to help your guard, and you got a guy who is a flamethrower. They got us early. It’s a hard read, but you learn from it.”
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
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“DeMarcus (Cousins) is a dominate player and he is also a dominate personality. So guys have an opportunity like, ‘maybe I’m getting more touches’ because DeMarcus (is not here). We’re not saying anything negative. That’s just the way the game is made. All of a sudden Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Kosta (Koufos) are getting a couple post ups a game, you know what I mean. So there is a little more freedom. That’s our goal and that’s how we coach - to go out and play with that passion every night.”
— Sacramento Kings head coach Dave Joerger
The Willie Cauley-Stein Inquisition Part Deux
Willie Cauley-Stein had 29 points and 10 rebounds in the Sacramento Kings 116-100 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 23 at G1C. Against the Charlotte Hornets, it was a totally different story.
Cauley-Stein had two points, two rebounds, and 1 assists in 28 minutes. His missed all five of his shots from the floor and he partly allowed his opponent Frank Kaminsky make five three-pointers.
“Me personally, I just got to find other ways to make an impact,” Cauley-Stein said. “I have to get to spots offensively where I know I can score, get guaranteed buckets, and help our rhythm out. When your shots aint falling you’re not trying to be aggressive and that's what happened tonight."
The High Rise of Skal Labissiere
It appears that rookie forward Skal Labissiere’s playing days for the Reno Bighorns of the D-League are over. He scored 12 points against the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 23, they followed with an eight-point, 13-rebound effort playing against the Charlotte Hornets. Labissiere cleared 10 boards on the offensive end.
“Our job is to try to get better every day and we saw some improvement,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “We saw Skal go get rebounds outside of his area, be athletic, and long.”
Garrett Temple (left hamstring), Malachi Richardson (right hamstring), and Arron Afflalo (left hamstring) were out against the Charlotte Hornets.
Marco Belinelli returned to Sacramento for the first time in a Charlotte Hornets uniform. The Italian had 13 points, six rebounds, and one steal of the bench for the Hornets. He made 4 of 7 shots from the field, including two 3-point baskets.
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.