Following an impressive home debut with his new team, Rudy Gay
must leave northern California for a while but has the Sacramento
Kings feeling real good going to the road.
Gay looks to stay hot as Sacramento plays four road games in
five nights, starting Tuesday night against the stumbling Charlotte
“The basketball is going to be in my hands a lot,” Gay said, “so
I’m just trying to keep everybody comfortable and keep everybody
Gay, acquired from Toronto in a seven-player deal last Monday,
takes some pressure off Kings top scorers DeMarcus Cousins and
Isaiah Thomas. Gay had 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting in his
Sacramento debut, a 116-107 loss at Phoenix on Friday, then scored
26 in a 106-91 win over Houston on Sunday and left to a standing
ovation from his new home fans.
“It makes the game so much easier,” said Cousins, who had 21
points and 10 rebounds. “It’s not such a heavy load on me and
Isaiah every night, just having another go-to guy.”
Thomas added 19 points for Sacramento (7-15), which held the
lead for most of the final 35 minutes. Thomas, Cousins and Gay all
made at least half of their field-goal attempts and combined for 17
assists. Gay chipped in five rebounds and four steals.
“It makes my job easier on offense. That’s for sure,” coach
Michael Malone said of adding Gay, who averaged 19.4 points for the
Raptors. “He’s so skilled. He’s so talented. He makes it look so
easy out there. He can score in so many ways.”
Malone also was pleased to see his team hold the Rockets, among
the league’s highest-scoring teams, to their second-lowest point
total of the season on 41.3 percent shooting. The Kings allowed an
average of 107.9 points in their other seven games this month.
Only once have they held an opponent below 100 away from home.
They’ve played a league-low seven road games, going 2-5, but
they’ll follow this matchup with Wednesday’s trip to Atlanta before
visiting Miami on Friday and Orlando on Saturday.
Cousins has recorded double-doubles in all three of his games in
Charlotte (10-14) and enters this contest having posted a
season-high four straight.
Gay has averaged 24.3 points in three games against the Bobcats
Charlotte has lost the last three meetings with Sacramento, held
to 88.0 points per game on 41.2 percent shooting, and has been
similarly mediocre offensively during its current three-game losing
streak. The Bobcats averaged 87.3 points and shot 42.6 percent,
including 10 of 42 from 3-point range.
All three games were decided by single digits, and Charlotte had
a fourth-quarter lead in the last two against Indiana and the
“We’ve played a few games now where it’s come down to the end,
especially against good teams, and just haven’t been able to come
up with the plays,” guard Gerald Henderson said. “… We need to be
more consistent down the stretch of games at both ends. That goes
for everybody, myself included.”
Henderson has scored in double figures in 15 straight games and
Kemba Walker has done so in 13 in a row, including a game-high 24
points in Sunday’s 88-85 home loss to Los Angeles.
Walker has averaged 12.7 points on 35.0 percent shooting,
including 2 of 16 from beyond the arc, in three meetings with