Game 78 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. New Orleans Hornets

Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton celebrate against the Clippers. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.

Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet, Radio – CBS Sports 1140

For Hornets perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate Hornet247.

The book on the Hornets:  Nothing’s actually easy in the Big Easy.  After drafting Anthony Davis first overall, the Hornets are trying to build around a young core.  At close to 17 points per game, Eric Gordon is the team’s leading scorer.  But for a second-straight season, he’s missed major time due to injury.  Ryan Anderson provides offense off the bench and Davis looks like a star in the making.

Did you know?  The Hornets are finishing the season the way a young team should, by showing improvement down the stretch.  Over their last 10 games, the team from New Orleans has posted a 5-5 record, which includes quality wins over the Nuggets and Celtics. 

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (27-50)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

New Orleans Hornets Probable Starters (27-51)

PG: Greivis Vasquez
SG: Eric Gordon
SF: Al-Farouq Aminu
PF: Anthony Davis

C: Robin Lopez

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 99.9
  • Offensive Rating: 106.1
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 104.7
  • Defensive Rating: 111.2
  • Pace: 93.4

Hornets

  • Points Per Game: 94.0
  • Offensive Rating: 105.8
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 97.5
  • Defensive Rating: 109.7
  • Pace: 88.4

Three questions to ponder

1.  Who will maintain the lead for the West’s second-worst record?

The Kings and Hornets are neck and neck for the West’s second-worst record, some four games ahead of the cellar-dwelling Phoenix Suns.  The loser of this one will slip down a notch in the rankings and move up to the six-spot in the draft lottery pool.  The Hornets are extremely young and have an excuse to be this bad, but I’m not sure that still applies to the Kings.

2.  How will Ryan Anderson perform in front of his home crowd?

The Kings kicked the tires on the Sacramento-native during free agency last year, but stuck with Jason Thompson instead.  As a reserve, Anderson has backed up his breakout 2012 season by averaging 16.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in 31 minutes per game.  Did the Kings miss the boat on this one?

3.  Who wins the match-up of Kentucky alums: DeMarcus Cousins or Anthony Davis?

Both centers went one-and-done for the Wildcats.  However, Davis came away with a national championship to his credit.  Coming into tonight’s match-up, the Kings center has the benefit of two days rest while the Hornets big man will play in his second game in as many nights.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".