Hot-shooting Hornets cruise past Kings

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 03 2018 04:05 PM

Kemba Walker (15) of the Charlotte Hornets handles the ball against the Sacramento Kings on January 2, 2018 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. Rocky Widner, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP 

Charlotte forward Nicolas Batum scored 21 points, and center Dwight Howard had 20 as the Hornets rolled to a 131-111 victory over the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center on Tuesday.

Jeremy Lamb and Johnny O'Bryant III each had 16 points, and Kemba Walker contributed 12 points and 10 assists for the Hornets (14-23). Charlotte shot 57.3 percent from the field and coasted after building a 20-point halftime lead that grew to 23 late in the third quarter.

Batum and Lamb made three 3-pointers apiece as the Hornets sank 15 of 32 from long distance. Marvin Williams, O'Bryant and Frank Kaminksy had two apiece.

Zach Randolph finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Skal Labissiere had 17 points and 15 rebounds for Sacramento, which has lost three straight home games since beating the Cleveland Cavaliers last Wednesday. The Kings (12-25) have lost five of six.

The Kings shot 51.7 percent from the floor and had a 47-30 rebounding advantage but could not overcome Charlotte's 3-point efficiency and precision ball-handling. The Hornets committed only three turnovers, while the Kings turned the ball over 15 times.

Charlotte posted a season high in points, two more than it had in an overtime victory over the Washington Wizards on Nov. 22.

Kings rookie guard De'Aaron Fox, the fifth player taken in the 2017 draft, had 17 points and four assists in 33 minutes. He started in his first appearance since Dec. 19, having recovered from a partial tear in his right quad. He had missed six games in a row and seven of eight, playing only 11 minutes in that Dec. 19 contest against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Kaminsky scored 12 points for Charlotte, which is 6-14 since Nov. 24.

Howard had 13 points in the first half, one of four Hornets in double figures at halftime, as Charlotte rolled to a 72-52 lead.

Williams had two of the Hornets' six 3-pointers in the final eight minutes of the first half, which Charlotte closed on a 33-14 run.

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