Charlotte Hornets vs. Sacramento Kings Pick & Prediction JANUARY 10th 2024

The Sacramento Kings defeated the team with the worst record in the NBA on Tuesday night. They’ll get a chance against another struggling team on Wednesday when they take on the Charlotte Hornets.

The Kings began a five-game road trip with Tuesday night’s 131-110 victory at Detroit. That came despite trailing by 20 points in the first quarter.

Sacramento outscored the Pistons 39-18 in the second quarter to take a three-point lead at halftime.

“We just need to play four quarters at that level to be a really good team,” Kings forward Keegan Murray said.

The Hornets, who’ve lost 13 of their past 14 games, will be playing at home for the second time in three nights before heading back on the road for their next three games.

The only victory in the past month for Charlotte came with an 111-104 decision Jan. 2 at Sacramento. Guard Terry Rozier poured in 34 points for the Hornets in that game.

Since the loss to Charlotte, the Kings have won three of four games.

Kings coach Mike Brown chose to focus on Sacramento’s defense following the game Tuesday night after holding the Pistons to 45 second-half points. Of course, Detroit scored 47 in the first quarter.

The turnaround in the game came in part from Juan Toscano-Anderson playing for the first time since Dec. 31. He was just signed to a 10-day contract after being waived by the team, though he logged 14 minutes off the bench.

“Juan just got back in uniform before the game,” Brown said. “I didn’t plan on playing him. I just thought we needed a little jolt of energy.”

The Kings received a boost from Domantas Sabonis’ 37 points and Murray’s 32 points.

The Kings were disturbed when Charlotte broke an 11-game skid in last week’s meeting. Making amends for that performance could be on the Kings’ minds. Sacramento had 20 turnovers in that game.

“To not have an awareness, a sense of urgency, it was not a good feeling being out there and being a part of it,” Brown said of that outing, “and obviously I had a lot to do with it because I did not have our guys ready apparently.”

Rozier’s 39 points Monday night in a 119-112 overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls left him short of reaching the 40-point mark for the second time in four games. He missed Charlotte’s last attempt in regulation and he didn’t score in overtime.

“Without the guys we have (out) right now, it’s not easy,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said of defensive pressure from opponents focused on Rozier with five players out. “Shot-making was phenomenal.”

Clifford said the double teams “makes sense” on Rozier and the Hornets have to do a better job in making opponents pay for those tactics.

In the past 10 games, Rozier and Miles Bridges each have led the Hornets in scoring five times.

Charlotte could use a boost from rookie forward Brandon Miller, who was 2-for-11 (including 0-for-7 on 3s) in Monday night’s game. He logged 31 minutes, though perhaps that was too much as he battled illness.

“He’s really sick,” Clifford said. “He asked out of the game twice. He was sick at the end of the road trip, wants to play. Not 100 percent, just not feeling good. He’s trying hard. He’s team oriented, or he wouldn’t have played.”

Kings guard De’Aaron Fox had 30 points in the first clash with Charlotte.

–Field Level Media

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