Hornets bid to locate offense in return home vs. Kings

NBA
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The Charlotte Hornets have hit a rough patch offensively despite having some success.

They’ll try to sort that out Tuesday night when they take on the Sacramento Kings in Charlotte, N.C.

The Kings have mostly been in a good groove recently, so the Hornets probably can’t afford more offensive lapses. Sacramento is coming off its best defensive performance of the season.

The Hornets won a season-high three games in a row prior to Sunday’s loss at Indianapolis.

But in the final game of the winning streak, they prevailed despite scoring a season-low 83 points at Chicago. Then came the 107-85 loss to the Pacers.

The Kings posted a 100-79 victory at Golden State on Sunday, so they showed a stingy side.

Sacramento has won four of its last five games, including three consecutive on the road.

“Every game is difficult. Every game we have to take seriously,” said Sacramento’s Bogdan Bogdanovic, who scored 25 points on Sunday.

Much of Charlotte’s scoring lull was associated with its season-low 30.8 percent shooting performance in Indianapolis.

“We went dry there,” Hornets coach James Borrego said of the offense.

The Hornets have gone two games in a row without a player scoring at least 20 points.

Cody Zeller led Charlotte’s scoring at Indianapolis with 19 points. He was in a starting role because rookie forward PJ Washington was out with a fractured right pinky finger.

Washington underwent surgery on Monday and ESPN reported Saturday that he will miss at least five games.

The Hornets have received significant recent contributions from post player Bismack Biyombo, who pulled in a season-high 17 rebounds at Indianapolis.

A lineup with more size might bode well for the Hornets, who’ve mixed in zone set-ups on defense.

“I think it gives us physicality, defense,” Borrego said of going with a pair of post players. “Depending on the matchups moving forward, obviously, it’s a look we’re going to continue to look at.”

Sacramento has gone to some smaller lineups recently. The Kings have used forward Marvin Bagley III, who recent returned from an injury, as a primary post player.

“You have to take some time for those guys to learn timing,” Bogdanovic said of lineup adjustments. “They have to go through a couple of live games. We try to help them as much as we can.”

The Kings made 60.3 percent of their shots from the field at Golden State to overcome an NBA season-worst 29 turnovers.

“It shows what kind of shooting (we’re capable of) when we play that way,” coach Luke Walton said.

While two recent road victories were encouraging for the Hornets, the road trip was costly. By the time they returned home, the Hornets were playing minus forward Nicolas Batum (left hand) and forward Marvin Williams (sore right knee).

“You try to fill in the gaps with Marvin and PJ out,” Zeller said. “I think if you would have told us we would win three in a row, I think we’d be happy with that. It will be good to be (playing) at home.”

Overall, Borrego said he liked the road trip, too.

“We have to get together,” he said. “We’ll be OK.”

–Field Level Media

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