Kings 114, Bobcats 88
Jetlagged or not, the Sacramento Kings were determined not to be
the team the Charlotte Bobcats beat to end their long losing
The Kings made the most of a rare late-season cross country trip
to the East coast and throttled the hapless Bobcats 114-88 Sunday
night behind a dominant effort from DeMarcus Cousins, who had 29
points and 10 rebounds. It was Charlotte’s franchise-record 20th
The Kings had lost nine of their previous 10 games, but this one
was never in doubt as they scored 78 points inside the paint and
led by 35 in the fourth quarter.
Cousins did most of the damage in the lane, but Tyreke Evans was
masterful in slicing his way through a non-existent Bobcats
defense, hitting 10 of 11 shots from the field – most of them on
drives to the lane – and finishing with 22 points.
Jason Thompson flirted with a triple double, finishing with 14
points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Kings.
”We did a good job getting to the hole,” Cousins said. ”They
didn’t have a lot of size and we took advantage of it.”
Bobcats coach Paul Silas agreed.
”It’s difficult,” Silas said. ”We only have three big men
(because of injuries) and it’s been hard on these guys to keep
going. That’s basically all we have. When a team comes like they
have with big guys and they’re banging it is hard.”
Kemba Walker had 13 points and 11 assists for the Bobcats, who
are nearing an NBA record for futility.
If the Bobcats (7-56) lose their final three games, they’ll
finish with the worst winning percentage in league history. They
travel to face Washington and Orlando before closing the regular
season at home Thursday night against New York.
The 26-point win was the largest margin of victory this season
for the Kings.
About the only thing that didn’t go right was Cousins was
picking up his 13th technical foul, which comes with an automatic
one-game suspension. Cousins appeared to exchange words with rookie
Bismack Biyombo as the two ran back down the court after a
Sacramento basket, drawing a double technical.
Cousins shook his head when asked about it after the game,
saying, ”It’s part of being DeMarcus Cousins.”
He said he plans to appeal to the league.
The Bobcats simply had no answers defensively for the Kings, who
scored at will in the lane and made the most of their transition
game, scoring 38 points on fast breaks.
Evans was almost unstoppable when he put the ball on the floor,
seemingly driving to the hole as easy as a knife going through warm
”When he is in an aggressive mode, there are very few people
who can keep him in front,” Kings coach Keith Smart said. ”And
then if he doesn’t look to attack, he gets his teammates involved.
I’m trying to grow him into a new position and he’s still going to
have the ball in his hands 60 percent of the time. It’s only going
to help him. It’s going to bring his whole game and career on top
to where he wants it to be.”
The Kings came in with the NBA’s worst defense, giving up 104.6
points per game, but the Bobcats only shot 44 percent and managed
88 points. It was the first time in 39 games the Kings held an
opponent to fewer than 93 points.
”The biggest thing now is having some pride as men,” said
Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas. ”Not so much as basketball players.
We’ve got to fight it out every second until the horn blows.”
This horn might as well have blown in the first quarter of this
The Kings started quickly, bolting to a 22-6 lead eight minutes
into the game after shooting 65 percent from the field.
All but four of those points came inside the paint and 11 came
Sacramento didn’t let up, building a 59-44 lead at the half
behind 55 percent shooting.
Cousins scored 20 of his points in the second half as the Kings
pushed their lead to 26 in the third quarter.
”When we flew in last night, we knew a fast start was something
we needed to do,” Smart said. ”I thought we had the right energy
from our starting lineup. We got off to the great start that we
needed and we sustained it through the half. We were a little
lethargic to start the second half, but I kept the starters out too
long because the other guys were playing well. But they regrouped
and got it back together.”
NOTES: Bobcats guard Reggie Williams had cleared his concussion
test before the game and was ready to play, but his knee tightened
up and he wound up sitting out. … Former Boston Celtics star
Robert Parish, who lives in the Charlotte area, was at the game.
… The Kings shot 55 percent from the field, their best effort of