National Basketball Association
Sacramento at Charlotte
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, January 22, 2018
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
The Charlotte Hornets are trying to gain some momentum and make a push toward .500 but had a chance at a three-game winning streak end in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday. The Hornets will try to bounce back after squandering a five-point lead with 34 seconds left when they host the fading Sacramento Kings on Monday.
The Hornets knocked off playoff contenders Detroit and Washington last week as head coach Steve Clifford returned to the bench after over a month away from the team but could not execute down the stretch in Saturday's 106-105 setback to the Miami Heat. "We made some mistakes late and a couple of turnovers, but that game should have been a 10- or 15-point win if we defend the way we were supposed to," Clifford told reporters after the loss. "I'd say in the fourth quarter alone we made six or seven mistakes on stuff that was covered yesterday, worked on live and then we did it again this morning. And that's how you become a team that wins two and loses one, like we have been." The Kings are struggling to execute at most points of the game and dropped into sole possession of last place in the Western Conference with the current seven-game slide. Sacramento is resting veterans in an effort to get the young players on the roster more playing time, and trade rumors are already swirling around the team.
7 p.m. ET, NBCS California (Sacramento), FS Southeast (Charlotte)ABOUT THE KINGS (13-32):
Zach Randolph, 36, was one of the veterans who got to play on Friday in a return to his former home at Memphis, but his role is clearly to be a mentor and a trade chip. "Honestly, I'm enjoying every minute of it, man," Randolph told the Sacramento Bee. "You know, I've still got a lot of basketball left and still feel that I can help a team and carry a team." Veteran point guard George Hill, who is the team's highest-paid player after signing a three-year, $57 million contract over the summer, sat out Friday's 106-88 loss and is reported to be a trade target of the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to the Sacramento Bee.
ABOUT THE HORNETS (18-26):
Charlotte has reportedly made star point guard Kemba Walker, who leads the team in scoring (21.7 points), assists (5.8) and steals (1.2), available in trade. "This is the first time I've been in this kind of situation," Walker, who was drafted by the franchise in 2011 and has never played anywhere else, told the Charlotte Observer. "I've been here for the last seven years, and I'm going to do what I can do to help my team win games. That's all I can do." Walker shut out the rumors and scored 22 points on Saturday but went 1-of-8 from 3-point range and is 8-of-28 from beyond the arc over the last four contests.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Kings SG Bogdan Bogdanovic is averaging 17.8 points over the last six games to raise his season mark to 11.5.
2. Hornets PF Marvin Williams was 0-of-5 from the floor on Saturday after going 17-of-24 over the previous three contests.
3. The road team took each of the last four in the series, with Charlotte cruising to a 131-111 win at Sacramento on Jan. 2.PREDICTION:
Hornets 106, Kings 98
Stats and Records