NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 17th (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (7-15) at Charlotte Bobcats (10-14), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Rudy Gay seems to be fitting in quite nicely for the Sacramento Kings and will lead his new team into Charlotte Tuesday for the opener of a four-game road trip against the Bobcats.
Gay has played two games for the Kings since he was acquired from Toronto and has scored 24 and 26 points, respectively, in his new digs. Gay made his Sacramento debut in a loss at Phoenix and helped the Kings bounce back with Sunday's 106-91 victory versus the Houston Rockets.
The veteran forward made 10-of-20 shots for the Kings, who ended a two-game slide and won for the third time in five tries. The Kings, though, are still 3-8 in their last 11 games.
"Rudy is so skilled, he's so talented. He makes it looks so easy out there offensively, and he can score in so many ways," said Kings coach Michael Malone.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Isaiah Thomas scored 19 points and Derrick Williams netted 11 in the win. Sacramento shot 48.1 percent and scored 20 points off 17 Houston turnovers. The Kings used a 10-0 run for a 73-61 advantage and later had the lead trimmed to 81-75. Houston never threatened after that and trailed by 18 at one point.
Thomas has started the last four games, averaging 23.0 points in that time and has scored 20 or more points four times in the last five games. Cousins, who leads the Kings in scoring, rebounds, steals and blocks, has scored 20 or more points in eight of the last 10 games and has posted a double-double in five of his previous six.
Sacramento is 2-5 on the road and will also visit Atlanta, Miami and Orlando on this current trek.
Charlotte is mired in a three-game slide and has lost seven of its last 10 games. In an 88-85 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, Kemba Walker scored 24 points, Al Jefferson added 14 and nine rebounds and Gerald Henderson finished with 13 points for the Bobcats, who shot 43.8 percent and made only 2-of-13 3-point attempts.
Ben Gordon, who had 10 points off the bench in defeat, missed on a 3-pointer at the end of the game.
"It was one of those games that came down to the last play at the end, but we have to try to do a better job of taking care of some of the minor mistakes we made earlier in the game so it doesn't come down to the last second," Gordon said.
The Bobcats, who fell to 6-8 at home, have held their opponent under 100 points in 20 of their 24 games this season, the most such games in the NBA. Walker, meanwhile, leads the team in scoring with 17.1 points per game and entered the Lakers game averaging 19.2 ppg in his previous six.
After hosting the Kings, Charlotte will play two straight on the road at Toronto and Detroit.
Charlotte lost both meetings with Sacramento last season and is winless in the last three games in this series. Sacramento has lost six of the nine meetings at Time Warner Cable Arena.
12/17 10:36:06 ET