SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Charlotte guard Malik Monk converted a three-point play with 1.4 seconds remaining to complete a frantic Hornets rally in the final minute Sunday night and hand the Sacramento Kings what coach Luke Walton called a “painful loss” for his group.
Sacramento led 123-115 following a dunk by Harrison Barnes, but Walton’s team couldn’t close it out. The Kings missed five free throws over the final 69 seconds and lost for the 10th time in 11 games.
“Come to an end of a game, that’s where we have to step up and put teams out, and we didn’t do it,” Walton said. “Give Charlotte credit. They hit 3s and made every free throw down the stretch. That’s a painful loss for our guys. We didn’t finish it out.”
Monk finished with 21 points to help Charlotte come back despite playing without leading scorer Gordon Hayward, who sat out with a hand injury. P.J. Washington scored a career-high 42 points, and LaMelo Ball added 24 points and a career-best 12 assists for the Hornets, who trailed the entire fourth quarter before Monk’s game-winning play made the final score 127-126.
“It goes back to that term of resiliency, never dropping the sword, never giving in and fighting until the final second,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “They had to miss some free throws to help us out, but we found a way. Down men, we found a way to win. Just proud of our group.”
Hornets guard Terry Rozier hit a 3-pointer and then added three free throws after being fouled by Barnes with 33.7 seconds left.
After Washington’s fifth 3 cut the lead to 125-124 with 17 seconds remaining, Buddy Hield hit one of two free throws for the Kings.
Monk followed by driving down the lane and flipping the ball off the backboard with his right hand. He was fouled by Richaun Holmes.
“It was a play for me or P.J.,” Monk said. “I told [Ball] to pass it to P, and he was like, nah. I had to make something happen.”
Hield, who finished with 30 points, missed a desperation heave from beyond midcourt as time ran out. Earlier Sunday night, he became the fastest player in NBA history to reach 1,000 career 3-pointers, doing so in his 350th career game. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was the previous fastest at 369 games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.