Salmons Explosion Helps Kings Unload On Bobcats


Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Two blowout victories in one week? What have Kings fans done to deserve this good fortune? The Kings seem to finally be beating the teams they are supposed to, something they’ve had a problem doing for much of the year. The Charlotte Bobcats are the worst team in the NBA for a reason, and Sacramento gladly took advantage of Charlotte’s many deficiencies. The Kings controlled things from the jump, and it wasn’t long before it turned into a rout. Sacramento hammered the Bobcats, 119-83; the 36-point margin of victory was the Kings best of the season.

SALMONS TAKEOVER MODE — This one was never in doubt, but it didn’t hurt that John Salmons transformed into Michael Jordan in the third quarter. What a shooting display from the Kings small forward, who has been playing some of his best ball over the past couple weeks. Salmons (30 MIN, 22 PTS, 6-13 FG, 5-10 3FG, 3 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL) was a perimeter beast, much to the enjoyment of his teammates and the Sacramento crowd. After Charlotte “trimmed” the lead to 19 with 6:16 to go in the quarter, Salmons proceeded to can four triples in the next four minutes, including one four-point play. He exited to a standing ovation from the appreciative Sactown crowd with the Kings up 40.

OWNING THE GLASS — The Kings made the Bobcats look like a junior varsity squad on the boards — just total domination by the Sacramento bigs. The Kings outrebounded Charlotte 60-31, including an 18-4 advantage on the offensive glass. The offensive output was obviously a huge benefit to the Kings. Sacramento hit a strong 46.7 percent of its shots and any misses were attacked by a number of Kings looking to create another opportunity. DeMarcus Cousins (23 MIN, 14 PTS, 6-14 FG, 9 REB, 1 AST, 3 TO) had the best offensive board of the night, ripping home a one-handed putback jam in the first half that symbolized the Kings night on the glass.

EFFICIENT JT — It was one of the more productive performances from the steady Jason Thompson that we’ve seen this season. JT was one of the Kings beasts on the boards, as the Kings power forward outrebounded the entire Bobcats starting lineup by himself (14-13). Additionally, Thompson (28 MIN, 18 PTS, 6-8 FG, 6-6 FT, 14 REB, 2 STL) exploited the porous Charlotte defense, finding gaps around the basket and finishing with great efficiency. Talking about Thompson becomes redundant after a while, but he continually deserves praise for his play. His double-double Sunday was his 11th of the season.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS — Not to nitpick in a game like this, but DeMarcus Cousins’ attitude bothered me. He seemed to be in a poutier mood than normal. It started in the first quarter when he had a visible tantrum after Tyreke Evans overlooked him on a play. He then proceded to give Evans an earful about the play, rather than just moving on. Later, he glared at Jason Thompson when JT corralled a rebound that both players were pursuing. And after picking up a quick foul in the third quarter, Cousins didn’t leave the court in a timely manner, complaining to two officials about the call. The Kings were up 22 at that point. It was just one of those games that illustrates how far Cousins has to go in the attitude department … Marcus Thornton got overshadowed by Salmons’ offensive outburst, but Thornton (20 MIN, 18 PTS, 7-11 FG, 3 AST, 2 REB, 2 STL, 2 TO) was again in a groove. Thornton knows how to score, and against a defense like Charlotte, he knows how to take advantage inside and out … Great work from Chuck Hayes (21 MIN, 6 PTS, 3-5 FG, 12 REB). Not the tallest guy but even he was able to dominate the glass … James Johnson managed to post three turnovers in his 8:27 of garbage time. Vintage James … Cole Aldrich (7 MIN, 2 PTS, 1-2 FG, 3 REB, 1 BLK) made his Kings debut and provided his first highlight with a strong late-game lay-up block.