Hornets, Kings clash in Charlotte

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Hornets hope to get back on track when they resume a three-game homestand Wednesday versus the Sacramento Kings.

The Hornets are vying for a playoff spot and had their five-game winning streak stopped with Monday's 95-69 loss to the Washington Wizards. The Hornets were limited to only nine points in the fourth quarter and scored 23 points in the entire second half.

Mo Williams led Charlotte with 19 points, Al Jefferson scored 14 and Lance Stephenson rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points. The Hornets shot a miserable 32.5 percent and made only 4-of-22 3-pointers.

"They were just more ready than we were," Jefferson said. "They had a game plan, and probably had a little bad taste in their mouth, and they showed it."

Charlotte forward Cody Zeller played less than seven minutes before leaving with a right shoulder sprain. He is doubtful Wednesday.

The Hornets are 15-17 at home and will close the residency Friday versus Chicago. They are eighth in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind Indiana and half-game in front of Miami.

Williams has recorded at least 20 points in seven of the 10 contests since joining the Hornets and is averaging 21.4 ppg. He was just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played March 2-8.

Sacramento will continue an eight-game road trip and has lost four in a row after defeating New York to kick off the trek Feb. 3.

The Kings fell for the sixth time in seven tries with Monday's 130-105 beating at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks. Kyle Korver hit six of Atlanta's franchise record 20 3-pointers and the Hawks prevailed for the 13th straight time against the Kings.

Rudy Gay paced Sacramento with 23 points, followed by Ray McCallum's 15. DeMarcus Cousins had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings, who are only 8-22 on the road and allowed the Hawks to shoot 60.2 percent from the field. Atlanta scored 24 points off 16 turnovers and had a 76-54 lead at halftime.

"We never got in control of the defensive end of the court," Sacramento head coach George Karl said. "They got everything they wanted."

The Kings trailed by as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter and were unable to get to within 19 points in the entire second half.

Sacramento is 3-7 under Karl's leadership.

Gay is averaging 24.6 ppg in his past five and Cousins has recorded a double- double in four of his last five contests. He has 38 double-doubles this season.

The Kings still have stops in Philadelphia and Washington to make and will play the first of two matchups with Charlotte. The Hornets will visit Sacramento on March 20 and have won two straight and eight of the previous 11 matchups in this series.