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Brown believes Kings nearing full potential after win vs. Hornets

Brown believes Kings nearing full potential after win vs. Hornets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

After the Charlotte Hornets came into Golden 1 Center last week and snatched a win away from the Kings, Sacramento returned the favor Wednesday night in dominant fashion.

The Kings erupted for a 123-98 victory at Spectrum Center, securing a win on the second half of a back-to-back after defeating the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday. Following a strong start to their five-game road trip, Kings coach Mike Brown believes Sacramento finally is coming into its own.

"It means that we're starting to -- knock on wood -- round into who we think we're capable of being night-in and night-out," Brown told reporters after the win. "We can talk about it all we want. We've got to go out there and prove it on a daily basis. And I do, I like our spirit. I like the way that we're just flying around defensively. I like how we're trying to play fast offensively, still and how we're sharing the ball. ...

"Those things bode well for the quote-unquote dog days of the season ... So for us to trend in the direction we're going, I'm excited about it."

The Kings overcame a disastrous first quarter against the Pistons on Tuesday en route to a 131-110 win, and afterward, Brown praised the team for its defensive prowess -- an area where they historically have struggled. And Wednesday, Sacramento came into Charlotte on a mission to redeem themselves after their 111-104 loss to the Hornets on Jan. 2.

In Wednesday's win, the Kings had three players score 20 or more points: Keegan Murray (25), Domantas Sabonis (24) and Malik Monk (20). De'Aaron Fox followed closely behind with 19 points, while Trey Lyles and Alex Len each provided eight points off the bench.

"We knew what we had to come in here and do," Lyles told reporters after the game. "We gave one away at home, so we had to come out here and handle business tonight."

It was a far cry from the Kings' last game against the Hornets, when Sacramento was doomed by 20 costly turnovers in front of its home crowd. But Wednesday on the road, the Kings took care of the ball and surrendered just nine turnovers while outscoring the Hornets 62-28 in the paint.

Sabonis finished with his 33rd double-double of the season, concluding the game just shy of his eight triple-double in his last 13 games. In addition to his 24 points, Sabonis tallied 10 rebounds and seven assists on 9-of-13 shooting from the field with one 3-pointer.

After snapping their 17-year NBA playoff drought last season, the Kings have championship aspirations as the halfway point of the 2023-24 campaign approaches. And if things keep trending in this direction, Brown believes this group, now 23-14 and fifth in the Western Conference, is on the right path.