Road Reaction: New Orleans Hornets 110, Sacramento Kings 95

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Through three-and-half quarters, the Sacramento Kings seemed primed to win their sixth road game of the season.  But local product Ryan Anderson came alive late for the New Orleans Hornets, scoring 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.  Anderson’s double-figure performance proved to be the difference for New Orleans in a 110-95 victory over Sacramento on Sunday night.

The Kings fall to 19-38 overall and 5-25 away from Sleep Train Arena.  They continue their five-game road trip with a stop in South Beach to take on the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

Notes and Analysis

  • Patrick Patterson made his debut, but didn’t play significant minutes in tonight’s loss.  Instead, Chuck Hayes and James Johnson got the call off the Kings’ bench.  The duo scored no points and grabbed just four rebounds in less than 20 minutes of action.
  • Tyreke Evans played one of his worst games of the season.  The fourth-year swingman uncharacteristically was unable to finish around the rim.  Evans went just 2-of-12 on shots attempted in the restricted area and finished with just 12 points in 34 minutes of action.  He also picked up his first technical of the season midway through the fourth quarter.
  • The Kings frontline had its way with the Hornets in the first half.  Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins combined to score 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting and grab 11 rebounds.  But after halftime, the Hornets limited the Kings power forward and center to just 10 points and and eight boards.
  • Robin Lopez and Anthony Davis terrorized the Kings’ defense.  The Hornets starting frontline combined to score 32 points on 15-of-25 shooting and also grabbed 15 rebounds.  The Kings had trouble either boxing out or clogging the paint against the Hornets bigs on defense.
  • John Salmons came alive for the Kings in the third quarter.  The veteran small forward scored 15 points on 5-of-6 three-point attempts in the period.  He finished the game with 18 points and a career-high six makes from 3-point land.
  • The Kings allowed Hornets point guard Greivis Vasquez to dissect their defense.  Vasquez recorded seven of his 13 assists in the first half.  The third-year point guard was averaging a career-high 9.4 assists per game before tonight’s win.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings shot 63 percent from 3-point land.  However, they shot just 42.2 percent from the field overall.

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  What kind of impact will Patrick Patterson and the Kings’ new faces make?

Much to the chagrin of all Kings fans, Patterson was not a factor in tonight’s game.  After Patterson passed all his medical tests on Friday, he flew into New Orleans late last night, causing him to miss practice earlier in the day.  And with the early start time of today’s game, there was no shootaround walkthrough for Patterson either.  So instead, Keith Smart played it safe and didn’t use his new frontcourt weapon until the game was out of reach late in the fourth quarter.  Toney Douglas also didn’t play and Cole Aldrich was not with the team yet as he underwent medical tests of his own in Sacramento.  He is expected to join the team by Tuesday in Miami.

2.  Will Marcus Thornton have a standout performance?

Thornton appeared to be on pace for a big game.  Through three quarters, he scored double figures and seemed primed to break through in the deciding period.  However, Thornton went on to attempt and miss just one shot in the fourth quarter despite playing all 12 minutes.  The Kings reserve guard finished with 12 points on on 4-of-7 shooting in 30 minutes of play.

3.  Can the Kings contain former Oak Ridge High star Ryan Anderson from beyond 3-point land?

Through the first three quarters, the Kings had no trouble making the former Oak Ridge star a non-factor.  Anderson attempted and missed just one 3-pointer in the three periods before the final frame.  However, the Kings let Anderson run wild in the fourth quarter, allowing the El Dorado Hills native to score 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting.  In the victory, the 24-year-old forward finished 2-of-3 from beyond the arc with 17 total points off the Hornets’ bench.

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