Kelly Oubre Jr.poured in a team-high 31 points, LaMelo Ball hit two late, lead-saving 3-pointers and the Charlotte Hornets held off the host Sacramento Kings 125-119 on Monday night.
Ball finished with 23 points as part of a double-double that included a game-high 12 assists, helping offset a 28-point, 23-rebound double-double by Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis.
Playing the second night of a back-to-back at the start of a six-game Western swing, the Hornets blitzed the Kings early with a 39-point first period and led by as many as 12.
But the hosts never lost connection and found themselves down just 106-104 before Ball nailed a 3-pointer with 5:40 to go.
Keegan Murray countered with a trey for the Kings to make it a two-point game again, but Ball responded for a second time from long distance, pushing the lead to 112-107 with 4:29 left.
Ball then assisted a Mason Plumlee dunk to push the lead to seven, and it was 118-109 after an Oubre tip-in with 2:48 left before Sacramento made one more push.
De’Aaron Fox hit a jumper, three free throws and a layup in a personal seven-point flurry that closed the gap to two with 1:24 remaining.But this time Gordon Hayward came up with the big hoop for Charlotte, a 9-footer with 1:10 remaining from which Sacramento never recovered.
Oubre’s 31 points were three shy of his season best and were the result of 12-for-25 shooting.He also found time for nine rebounds.
Nick Richards logged a second double-double for Charlotte with 14 points and a team-high 11 rebounds off the bench, while Hayward chipped in with 19 points, Plumlee 15 and Theo Maledon 12.
Sabonis’ 20/20 double-double was the sixth of his career, the fourth since he joined the Kings last February.He also had a team-high seven assists.
Fox was the game’s leading scorer with 37 points, while Malik Monk added 12 and Murray and Harrison Barnes finished with 11 apiece.
In their quest to sweep the two-game season series from the Hornets, the Kings were outshot 51.6 percent to 47.4 percent and outrebounded 56-42.
–Field Level Media