Hornets 115, Kings 100
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ The Sacramento Kings had the misfortune of running into Anthony Mason on a night when he was looking to vent his frustration about not being invited to the NBA All-Star game this weekend.
Mason set a club record by making all eight field-goal attempts Thursday night to power Charlotte’s surging Hornets to a 115-100 victory over the Kings. Mason, who also sank all six free throws, finished with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the Hornets to their seventh consecutive victory over the Kings in Charlotte.
Mason is on track to set new highs in virtually every statistical category this year, but he’s still looking for the first All-Star berth in his eight-year NBA career.
``It’s just a sign of great disrespect for Anthony Mason as a basketball player,″ Mason said. ``I have no more respect for whoever is responsible for the choices. All I’m going to do is come out and play hard for the Charlotte Hornets.″
Charlotte, winning its fourth in a row and 11th in 14 games, recorded its second-largest margin of victory this season and improved to 10 games over the .500 mark heading into the All-Star break.
``This was a pretty special ending for the run we’ve had,″ coach Dave Cowens said. ``These guys are amazing.″
Mason broke Charlotte’s single-game record for the most field goals without a miss. The old mark was six by Eric Leckner in a February 1991 contest against Miami.
``He doesn’t talk about it with us, but you can see that Mase has definitely been snubbed for the All-Star game,″ said Charlotte forward Glen Rice, who will be making his second consecutive appearance in the contest. ``It’s just a shame that he didn’t get picked. He deserves to be there.″
The Hornets had five players in double figures, including 17 from Rice, his lowest output in more than a month. Rice, averaging 32.1 points over his previous 19 games, struggled while being guarded much of the time by Corliss Williamson and missed 11 of his 16 field-goal attempts.
``I hate having off nights,″ Rice said. ``I’m only human, though. I’ll bounce back next time around and it will be a different story.″
The Hornets tied their season high with 12 3-pointers, including an 8-of-11 performance in the first half, when they took control.
``When people are making 3s like that, you’re in trouble,″ Sacramento coach Garry St. Jean said. ``Charlotte has been playing awfully good basketball from what I’ve seen, and they continued it tonight.″
Mitch Richmond had 37 points on 14-of-28 shooting to lead Sacramento in scoring for the ninth consecutive game, but the Kings got little help from anyone else. Olden Polynice added 15 points, but 14 of those came in the second half after the Kings found themselves with a double-digit deficit. Williamson had 14 points, including eight in the final two periods.
The Kings made just one field goal in a span of more than 10 minutes in the second quarter, allowing the Hornets to go on a 19-5 run and push their edge to 18.
Charlotte led 55-38 after a first half in which Richmond scored 22 and none of his teammates had more than six.
The Kings got no closer than 10 points in the third quarter, and the Hornets pushed their advantage as high as 29 points in the fourth.
Notes: The Hornets are 16-0 when they score 100 or more points. ... The Kings are 16-9 against teams with losing records but 5-19 against those with a record of .500 or better. ... Sacramento is 3-7 against the Hornets in Charlotte and 8-12 overall in the series.