Sacramento Kings

How the guards led the way as the Kings won their third in a row at home

Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, right, scored a team-high 22 points in a 104-97 victory Saturday in Sacramento.
Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, right, scored a team-high 22 points in a 104-97 victory Saturday in Sacramento. AP

The Kings defeated the Charlotte Hornets 104-97 for their third consecutive home victory Saturday night at Golden 1 Center. Here are three takeaways from the game:

A back-and-forth affair

Until late in the fourth quarter, it seemed no team could pull away.

Heading into the final period, neither team had taken a double-digit lead. The Kings’ largest lead was eight and the Hornets six while the teams exchanged the lead five times and saw nine ties.

Neither team shot well, but the Kings (22-21) were aided by several miscues by the Hornets (19-23). The visitors turned over the ball 20 times in all, including 19 in the first three quarters that led to 15 points for the hosts.

Overall, the guards led the scoring for Sacramento. Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings with 22 points.

“I thought Bogdanovic had a heck of a game,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “He’s a competitor and a pro and he was very good at making plays and shooting the basketball tonight.”

De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield scored 21 apiece.

Bagley gets fired up

It wasn’t an exceptional shooting day for Marvin Bagley III, but he showed some edge late in the game.

After complaining about not getting a foul call while going up against a crowd of Hornets, he received the first technical foul of his career.

“It was just one of those heat-of-the-moment things,” Bagley said. “It happens. Just got to move on.”

He responded by hitting just the 10th 3-pointer of his career on the ensuing possession.

From there, the Kings never looked back. Charlotte pulled to within 92-89 with 5:37 left but never got closer.

Bagley just missed his fifth double-double, finishing with 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting and nine rebounds.

Surviving Walker time

Entering Saturday, Hornets guard Kemba Walker was tied for first in fourth-quarter scoring.

The All-Star guard averaged 8.3 points in the final period this season to tie Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.

Walker was as advertised in the quarter, scoring nine of his game-high 31 points to keep Charlotte alive, but it wasn’t enough as the Kings were able to hold off the Hornets, outscoring them 22-21 over the final 12 minutes for their third consecutive home win.

Noel Harris: 916-321-1602, @SacBeeNoel

Upcoming schedule for the Kings

Jan. 14: Home vs. Portland Trail Blazers – The Kings lost at home to Portland on New Year’s Day in their only overtime game in 2018-19. The Blazers have won four in a row over Sacramento.

Jan. 17: Road vs. Charlotte Hornets – When these teams meet for the second time in less than a week, it will tip off a six-game trip for the Kings.

Jan. 19: Road vs. Detroit Pistons – This matchup comes a little more than a week after the Kings went wire to wire in beating the Pistons in Sacramento. They’ll look to avenge last season’s sweep with one of their own.

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