John Salmons has had some memorable games during his 10-year career. With his strong shooting against the slumping Bobcats, he added another to the list.
Salmons scored 19 of his 22 points in the third quarter, and Jason Thompson had 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Kings in a 119-83 victory over the Bobcats on Sunday. Charlotte is 0-3 on its current West Coast trip and has lost five in a row overall.
Salmons got the Kings going in the third quarter when they outscored the Bobcats 43-19 and took a 97-59 lead into the fourth. The point total was the most allowed in a quarter in Charlotte franchise history and the most by the Kings this season.
“Anything he (Salmons) threw at the basket it went in,” Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap said. “He can do that, and we knew that about him. A lot of those shots were contested by us. But full credit to him.”
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Salmons scored all 19 points in the third in four-minute stretch that included a four-point play. Salmons made 4 of 7 3-point shots in the quarter and connected on all five free throws.
“When my teammates find me open and I’m in a rhythm, I have a lot of confidence that I’m going to knock the shots down,” said Salmons, who left the game for good late in the third quarter.
Marcus Thornton also scored 18 points for the Kings, who made 13 3-pointers and were coming off a stretch of seven losses in the previous eight games.
“We caught them on a bad night, and today was our day,” said Kings reserve center Chuck Hayes, who had 12 rebounds.
DeMarcus Cousins had 14 points, Tyreke Evans added 13 and Isaiah Thomas had 10 points and seven assists.
The Kings closed the first half with nine straight points, then opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run to extend their lead to 64-40. The advantage reached a high of 43 points early in the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats outscored the Kings 24-22 in the fourth quarter, which was about the only solace for Bobcats reserve Josh McRoberts afterward.
“It’s what you got to do. It was ugly,” McRoberts said. “You have to stay with it. You have to have a little bit of pride individually as a team. You don’t come into a game thinking that’s going to happen or wanting that to happen, but you’ve got to play hard.”
Byron Mullens and Gerald Henderson each scored 12 points for the Bobcats. Charlotte was outrebounded 60-31 and shot 36 percent. Kemba Walker had 11 points and six assists.
The Bobcats have dropped 10 of 11 games on the road, 22 of 26 overall and appear headed for the league’s worst record again.
Following a 1-4 road trip that dropped the Kings to 6-27 this season, Thompson said it felt good to be playing again in Sleep Train Arena.
“It’s good to be home and not eating room-service food,” Thompson said. “We play differently at home than we do on the road.”
Thompson had one of his most efficient games of the season. He made 6 of 8 shots and added two steals in easily getting a double-double in just under 28 minutes.
This was the first home game since the announcement by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson last week that a plan was in place to keep the Kings in Sacramento.