The Charlotte Hornets fell to the Sacramento Kings at home 113-106, and lost Al Jefferson to injury.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the Hornets with 23 points (on 9-12 shooting), and 9 rebounds. Mo Williams struggled in the first half, but finished with 20 points thanks to a strong second, while Gerald Henderson flirted with a triple double, finishing with 17 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds. In his first game back, Kemba Walker finished with 6 points on 2-9 shooting in 16 minutes of play off the bench.
Ben McLemore led the Kings in scoring, dropping 27 points on 10-16 shooting, going 3-4 from the 3-point line. Rudy Gay scored 26 points, including five points late in the game that sealed the win for Sacramento. DeMarcus Cousins finished with 20 points (10 of which came in the 4th quarter), and 14 rebounds.
The Kings jumped out to an early 13-4 lead, but the Hornets would go on a run to take the lead midway through the first quarter. From that point the game was fairly back and forth, with each team exchanging leads until the final minutes of the 2nd quarter, when Sacramento built a small lead and held it until midway through the 3rd. Charlotte would take a78-74 lead with under a minute remaining in the 3rd, but wouldn't hold it long.
Charlotte did take a 95-94 lead with 4:50 remaining in the fourth, but Sacramento would score on the next possession and hold the the lead for the rest of the game.
Tonight's game was full of highlights, with Henderson and MKG each throwing down highlight reel dunks. It was MKG's most impressive offensive game this season, as he attacked the hoop in both the half-court and in transition.
The worst news tonight was the loss of Al Jefferson, who left the game with a sore calf and did not return. Its unclear just serious the injury is, but if he were to miss Friday's game against the Chicago Bulls it would leave the team very thin in the front court.
With tonight's loss, the Hornets will fall to 9th place if the Miami Heat win against the Brooklyn Nets tonight. After friday's home game against Chicago on Friday, the Hornets will hit the road for a four game road trip.