Hornets falter in second half, lose to Kings in Halloween showdown

Oct 31, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Dennis Smith Jr. (8) drives while defended by Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the second half at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Dennis Smith Jr. (8) drives while defended by Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the second half at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Charlotte Hornets suffered a loss on their home court against the visiting Sacramento Kings on Halloween night by a final score of 115-108.

P.J. Washington led the way for the home team with 28 points while Kevin Huerter had 26 points to lead the way for the visiting team.

With the loss, Charlotte is now 3-4 through the season’s first seven games.

What went right for the Charlotte Hornets?

P.J Washington’s fourth-year leap appears to be real

P.J Washington had a monster performance on Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors, putting up 31 points and seven rebounds in the win. He followed that up with 28 points, five rebounds, and two steals in tonight’s contest. Washington has shot 56.8% from the field and 40.0% from three-point range in the last two games as he has posted his second and third-best scoring nights of his career within the last 72 hours.

Dennis Smith Jr. continues to make his case for a rotation spot

Called into extended action in the absence of LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, and Cody Martin, Dennis Smith Jr. continues his strong play to begin the season. Smith Jr. had 15 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and six steals on 53.8% shooting. His six steals are the most in a game by a Charlotte player since Kemba Walker had eight against the Dallas Mavericks on November 10th, 2012.

What went wrong for the Charlotte Hornets?

A scarily bad third quarter on Halloween night

After leading by a score of 67-52 at halftime, the Hornets were outscored 37-18 in the third quarter to find themselves trailing by four to begin the fourth quarter. The negative 19 point differential is Charlotte’s worst in any quarter this season, and the 38 points allowed in the period is now tied for the most they have allowed in a quarter this season.

Charlotte also tied for their second-lowest scoring quarter of the season (18) and their most turnovers in a quarter (7) during the third period.

Fouls and free throws

The Hornets committed 26 personal fouls, a new season high. The Kings took advantage by going 24/28 from the foul line, marking the second-most made free throws against the Hornets this season and tying the Atlanta Hawks for the second-most free throw attempts against the Hornets this season.

Charlotte also set their new season low in made free throws (8) and tied their season low in free throw attempts (14).

Even free throws of the technical foul variety were an issue, as Nick Richards was assessed a technical foul that led to a Kings free throw attempt while Charlotte was leading 100-96. Kevin Huerter converted from the foul line, beginning a 10-0 run by Sacramento to secure control of the game.

What is next for the Charlotte Hornets?

Wednesday, November 2nd – at Chicago Bulls (8:00 p.m. ET)