Kings at Bobcats
The Charlotte Bobcats snapped a five-game losing streak and picked up their third win in the last 27 games Friday night at Orlando. The next challenge is to win at home, which the Bobcats will attempt to do when they host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. The Bobcats have dropped 13 straight home games dating back to Nov. 23. The Kings, who dropped to 3-15 on the road with a loss at Memphis on Friday, could end that string.
Sacramento managed a season-low 69 points against the Grizzlies and scored 30 in the first half. The visit to Memphis marked the beginning of a stretch in which the Kings will play 16 of 21 on the road. Charlotte is one of the few teams allowing more points than Sacramento but got its own total up high enough to steal a 106-100 victory over the Magic. Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions did most of the damage offensively but the big improvement came on the interior, where the Bobcats held their own on the glass.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSCA (Sacramento), SPSO (Charlotte).
ABOUT THE KINGS (15-25): Sacramento shot a season-low 34 percent at Memphis to end a two-game winning streak. DeMarcus Cousins was the only Kings player to reach double figures with 22 points. The Kings are 2-5 on the road against Eastern Conference opponents and took out Cleveland and Toronto during their last trip. To get the Bobcats they will need to find the form that had them averaging 109.5 points in the two games before leaving for the current trip. Cousins, Tyreke Evans and John Salmons scored 21 points apiece in Wednesday’s 95-94 win over Washington and Marcus Thornton had 20 off the bench in a 124-118 win over Cleveland on Monday.
ABOUT THE BOBCATS (10-29): Charlotte will be trying to avoid tying the longest home losing streak in franchise history on Saturday. The Bobcats were getting crushed on the glass during a five-game slide prior to Friday, bottoming out with a 60-31 rebounding deficit in Tuesday’s 103-76 home loss to the Indiana Pacers. But Charlotte did a much better job against a strong rebounding team in Orlando on Friday, building up a 43-36 advantage on the glass and holding Nikola Vucevic, who ranks third in the NBA in rebounding, to nine boards. The challenge Saturday will be to keep Cousins off the glass.
1. Cousins has averaged 14 rebounds over the last three games.
2. Sacramento snapped a six-game losing streak in the series with a 114-88 win at Charlotte last April. Cousins collected 29 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
3. Bobcats G Gerald Henderson tweaked his back on Friday and sat out most of the second half.
Bobcats 102, Kings 101