Perhaps they might have helped their cause if they didn't foul everyone in sight, leading to 40 free throw attempts for Sacramento. Neither team shot well enough to even sniff the 40 percent field goal shooting mark, but Sacramento's +14 in free throws made disparity made a huge difference in what became a close game. Combined, Charlotte's starters totaled 30 fouls, which, when divided up evenly, would foul the entire starting five out of a regulation NBA game. Noah Vonleh had 8, P.J. Hairston had seven, Mickey McConnell had six, Josh Davis had five and Justin Brownlee had four. They fouled a lot because they couldn't contain Sacramento's penetrating offense, which sliced into the paint at will.
Hairston and Vonleh both bounced back a bit from their poor debut games, with Hairston leading all scorers with 22 points. He may have needed 20 shots to get there, but he also made six of his 13 three-point attempts. Vonleh's offense continued to struggle, though he continues to display decent footwork and ballhandling. He also hit a three, so there's that. His offense looks to be a work in progress on the block, as he could use a bitter better touch on his shots from on the block. Vonleh's rebounding was terrific with 18 rebounds, including 5 offensive.
Davis again excelled for Charlotte as a hustling rebounder and defensive player, snagging 16 rebounds, seven of which were on offense. He's got a real good nose for the ball and understanding of getting in position for angle of how it's going to come off the rim and glass. His offense isn't very good, though I wonder if his favorite part of shooting is being able to rebound a possible miss. Still, he's a lot of fun to watch and a tenacious player.
The Hornets' offense was pretty awful on the whole. They shot 28.6 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from the charity stripe. They had 17 turnovers, some of them unforced, but I have to give Sacramento credit for bringing a pretty good defense into this game. They pressed and made Charlotte uncomfortable, which is a good strategy considering they look pretty uncomfortable even when they aren't pressured.
Charlotte plays again tomorrow night against the Knicks. Cody Zeller will be back, so we should see some better offense and defense, thank goodness.