SACRAMENTO – The Sacramento Kings forget basketball is a 48-minute ordeal.
The Kings (10-22) woke up late in a 113-103 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats (15-20) on Saturday. Sacramento surrendered 32 first quarter points and a 17-2 run to end the second, and allowed the visiting Bobcats to shoot 64.3 percent from the floor in the first half. It was yet another self-made obstacle for a club already whelmed with them.
“When we allow teams to get off to starts like that, when they don’t feel us and they score at will, by the end of the game it’s too late. The basket’s a hula-hoop,” explained head coach Michael Malone.
“We (may) have to do a couple extra pushups, or do extra stretches, but we have to come out from the jump,” stated Rudy Gay in the quiet locker room.
The Kings were able to eventually close the gap to 2 points with 9:44 in the fourth quarter, but the Bobcats clawed back behind the efforts of Al Jefferson (27 points, 9 rebounds) and Kemba Walker (30 points). The duo’s impressive play discouraged Sacramento, which has been a theme all season in tight situations.
“We just really have to start relaxing,” Gay noted. “When people hit shots, we can’t put our heads down, we can’t get mad. We just have to keep playing.”
Sacramento carved a 51-58 second half and outrebounded Charlotte 52 to 38 (DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson and Gay all had 10+ rebounds and double-doubles), but the Kings struggled to run an offense with a result of 17 assists to 14 turnovers.
The Kings squandered another opportunity to beat a middling team at home, and now face the tough task of hosting the Portland Trail Blazers (26-8) on November 7. Until then, Malone will continue to address the roster’s lack of focus.
“We think that we can overlook certain teams,” the coach quipped, “but when you’re 10-22, you can’t overlook anybody.”
Photo Credit: Paul Kitagaki / Sacbee.com