Turnovers doom ‘careless’ Kings in deflating home loss to Hornets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The Kings began their four-game homestand in disappointing fashion on Tuesday, allowing the Charlotte Hornets to come back and defeat them 111-104 at Golden 1 Center.
Charlotte came into Sacramento on an 11-game losing streak, and the Kings were looking to ride the momentum from their New Year’s Eve victory over the Memphis Grizzlies into 2024. But that wasn’t the case as Sacramento committed a costly 20 turnovers — 11 of which came from star Kings center Domantas Sabonis.
“I mean, honestly, I just think we gave the ball away,” Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox told reporters after the game. “I don’t think they did anything that really just made us turn the ball over. We were just too careless with the ball all night. …
“Like I said, as a team, we were careless as a whole, and sometimes we might’ve gotten too deep, but that’s something that we can control. Obviously you get deep in this league, and you’re going to get six, eight hands around you. So they did a good job of collapsing, but it starts with what we’re doing.”
Fox laments how “careless” the Kings were with the ball tonight 👇 pic.twitter.com/ng3MzDOmMH
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 3, 2024
Even without four starters Tuesday, the Hornets took advantage of the Kings’ sloppy play and rallied in the fourth quarter to walk away with their eighth win of the 2023-24 NBA season. Fox finished with a team-high 30 points, while Sabonis extended his double-double streak to 15 games with 20 points and 19 rebounds.
But it wasn’t enough to overcome the 17 points Charlotte was able to convert on Sacramento turnovers, nor Hornets guard Terry Rozier’s 14 fourth-quarter points to give him 34 on the night in his return from illness. After the loss, Kings coach Mike Brown told reporters his team seemed lackadaisical against the Hornets.
“Our execution down the stretch and our sense of urgency, on both sides of the ball, was alarming. It wasn’t good,” Brown said. “… And then our half court defense, to not have an awareness, a sense of urgency, it was not a good feeling being out there and being a part of it. And obviously, I have something to do with it, too, because I didn’t have our guys ready, apparently.”
Sacramento now is 19-13 on the season and No. 5 in the Western Conference. And even after Tuesday’s performance, the Kings still have the 11th-fewest turnovers per game in the NBA at 12.5.
Moving forward, Fox knows the Kings can’t dwell on Tuesday’s loss as they carry on with the rest of their homestand.
“Obviously I don’t think we’ve had one of those bad stretches of games, but at the end of the day, [if] you soak in a loss like this, it can pile on into six losses in a row,” Fox said. “For me personally, when I walk out of this building, I’m not thinking about this game again.”