It was almost like the opposite of the Orlando game for Sacramento. This time it was they who were facing a shorthanded team (Charlotte was only able to suit up 8 players after all the trades yesterday). But the Bobcats played much better as a team and were able to overcome several Kings runs and ended up winning rather easily, controlling the game for most of the 2nd half.
The Kings looked like they were going to run Charlotte out of the house early, scoring the first 7 points of the game, but the Bobcats managed to stay right with Sacramento, thanks to a hot start from D.J. Augustin. The Kings still led after the first quarter though.
It was the 2nd quarter that really finished off Sacramento. In it, they only scored 14 points after scoring 30 in the first. Charlotte would take an 8 point lead into the half, and while Sacramento was able to come back and tie in the 3rd quarter, once the Bobcats got the lead back, they held it for the rest of the game.
Stephen Jackson led Charlotte with 30 points on just 19 shots, as well as playing his usual solid defense. He and Augustin (23 points on 9-11 shooting) were crucial to victory. Gerald Henderson had a good game as well, chipping in 21 points.
For Sacramento, it was a mixed bag. DeMarcus Cousins was a beast early, scoring 11 points in the 1st quarter alone, but only 2 points after. He finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, but he also had 7 turnovers. Cousins was pulled after his 7th turnover in the 2nd half and didn’t return to the game.
Turnovers as a whole were a big reason Sacramento lost. The Kings had 18 turnovers compared to the Bobcats 9. Charlotte scored 25 points off those turnovers while Sacramento scored just 6 off the ’Cats miscues.
Another big reason were all the fouls Sacramento committed (26 to Charlotte’s 16), which gave Charlotte a 35-21 FTA advantage, although the Kings hit at a much higher rate, only missing twice.
Newcomer Marcus Thornton got off to a rough start in his Sacramento Kings debut, scoring just 2 points in the first half but committing 3 fouls. He was much more composed and confident in the 2nd though, hitting 3-5 from downtown and finishing with 14 points on 8 shots in just 24 minutes. He also 4 rebounds, an assist, steal and block. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got the starting role over Jermaine Taylor soon, as Taylor didn’t have all that great of a game.
Five players had double-doubles in the game, something that doesn’t happen often. Joining Cousins were Udrih (11 points, 13 assists), Thompson (10 points, 13 rebounds), Dalembert (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Kwame Brown (12 points, 13 rebounds).
Sacramento heads to Memphis tomorrow to finish the 7 game road trip.