CK Press Box Report: Sacramento Kings 119, Charlotte Bobcats 83

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham


The basket is looking mighty wide for John Salmons these days.  The veteran small forward  shot 5-of-10 from three-point land, battling back from a sluggish start to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 119-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Salmons along with five other Kings scored in double figures in the 36-point victory.  According to Elias, the last time Sacramento won by 36 came on Nov. 15, 2005 in another 119-83 win over the Utah Jazz.

Sacramento moves to 21-40 overall and 15-13 at home.  They return to action at Sleep Train Arena on Tuesday when they host the visiting Denver Nuggets.

– Jonathan Santiago

Notes and Analysis

  • John Salmons caught fire in the third quarter, scoring 19 of his game-high 22 points during a ten minute stretch.  The veteran wing has finally found his groove from the perimeter.  In his last seven games, Salmons is shooting an incredible 21-for-32 (65.6 percent) from 3-point land.
  • While Salmons was busy from outside, Jason Thompson dominated the post.  The starting power forward finished with 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting and a game-high 14 rebounds.  The Bobcats had no answer for the Kings’ size inside.
  • Marcus Thornton continued his stellar play of late, dropping in 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting off the Kings’ bench.  Thornton is averaging 24.8 points per game over the team’s last four games, while shooting 48.2 percent from the field.
  • Tyreke Evans buried a huge 3-pointer to end the half which extended the Kings’ lead to 14 at the break.  The Kings carried that momentum into the third quarter where they trounced the Bobcats 43-19 and took a 38-point lead into the fourth.  Evans finished with a modest 13 point-seven-rebound-four-assist game, but played just 24 minutes as the Kings blew out the Bobcats.
  • DeMarcus Cousins played even less, finishing today with 14 points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes.  The Kings big men dominated the paint early, setting the table for the long range shooting in the second and third quarters.  I think that might be an effective way to game plan for this team.
  • Isaiah Thomas struggled early with his shot, finishing the half with just two points on 1-for-6 shooting.  His solid third quarter was overshadowed by Salmons’ breakout quarter, but Thomas scored eight of his 10 points in less than nine minutes after intermission.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings outrebounded the Bobcats 60-31.  According to Elias, the 29-rebound margin is the largest since the Kings out-boarded the Los Angeles Lakers, 62-32, on Apr. 10, 2005.
– James Ham

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  Who wins the point guard battle between Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker?

This was about as even a match-up as you could possibly imagine.  Walker finished with 11 points on 2-for-7 shooting and six assists, while Thomas scored 10 points on 4-for-10 shooting and dished out seven assists.  Walker did a nice job of breaking down the Kings defense and creating space for himself, but his numbers are clearly inflated this season by the fact that his team has very few scorers.

2.  Will Toney Douglas cut into Jimmer Fredette‘s playing time?

Both Jimmer and Douglas played solid minutes tonight.  But it was a 36-point blowout, so I’m not sure what to make of the minute distribution.  Jimmer finished with seven points on 3-for-11 shooting and hit just one of his six 3-point attempts in 19 minutes.  The Bobcats did a very poor job of staying with him, but he missed some wide-open shots.  Douglas scored two points, grabbed three rebounds and handed out two assists in nearly 16 minutes of action, but he shot 0-for-4 from the field.  It appears that for now, Jimmer will get minutes off the bench alongside Thornton, with Douglas picking up the scraps.

3.  Can John Salmons find his scoring touch?

Salmons is on fire.  The 33-year-old wing out of the University of Miami scored 22 points on 5-for-10 shooting from behind the arc. If Salmons can continue his hot shooting, the Kings’ offense can be a lot of fun to watch down the stretch.

– James Ham

Quotes of the Game

Keith Smart‘s opening remarks:

I thought that these guys did a great job.  Sometimes, after you get back from a long road trip like the one we were on, you’re just not sure how it’s going to go.  Then, you have to incorporate the fact that this was an early game, and that adds more fuel to it.  Today, we did what we were supposed to do.  We got out and competed.  The game was a little shaky starting off, but that was expected.  Nevertheless, we did a good job of getting the game under control and then our bench came in and provided us with some good stuff.  Our starters did a great job in the first and third, unlike the last game where we gave up around 67 points in those first two quarters.  They did what they were supposed to do in front of the fans and put on a pretty exciting basketball game.

Jason Thompson on John Salmons:

Those were some flashbacks of him out in Chicago.  It’s good that he got hot like that.  He kept the game going.  He started off slow, but it’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.  That’s what happens in this league – guys like him get hot.

Bobcats Head Coach Mike Dunlap on John Salmons:

A lot of those shots were contested by us.  Full credit to him.

Kemba Walker on John Salmons:

He made open shots and he made tough shots.  He was hot tonight.

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