SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – John Salmons scored 22 points and Jason Thompson had 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Sacramento Kings in a 119-83 victory over the slumping Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday.
Marcus Thornton also scored 18 points for the Kings, who made 13 3-pointers in halting a stretch of seven losses in the previous eight games. 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 exceeded 40 points several times in the second half and was Sacramento’s most lopsided victory this season.
Byron Mullens and Gerald Henderson each scored 12 points for the Bobcats. Charlotte, which has lost five straight, was out-rebounded 60-31 and shot 36 percent. Kemba Walker had 11 points and six assists.
The slide continues for the Bobcats, who opened the season with a 7-5 record. They have now dropped 10 of 11 games on the road, 22 of 26 overall, and appear headed for the league’s worst record again.
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 Charlotte franchise history.
Salmons hit four 3-pointers and scored 19 points in the third quarter that included a torrid stretch where the veteran forward scored 18 points during a 4-minute stretch. Salmons’ onslaught included a four-point play.
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.
The NBA received an official offer on Friday from 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and billionaire Ron Burkle to buy the Kings. The announcement also came with a tentative plan to build a downtown arena.
In January, the Maloof family, the current owners, signed an agreement with a Seattle group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer. The NBA board of governors is expected to vote in mid-April on that bid.
Leading by 14 points at halftime, the Kings stretched their lead quickly as the Bobcats continued to struggled offensively in the third quarter. Thomas made a pair of 3s to highlight a 15-2 run that gave Sacramento a 69-42 lead with 8:31 mark in the period.
A year ago in a shortened season, Charlotte posted a 7-59 record, the worst winning percentage (.106) for a season in NBA history.
Cousins, Thompson and Thornton all had 12 first-half points for Sacramento, which led 54-40. Thornton made a pair of threes and had 10 points in the second quarter.
After taking a nine-point lead at the 3:17 mark of the first quarter, the Bobcats were outscored 38-15 the reminder of the first half. The Bobcats shot 4 of 17 in the second quarter when they were outscored 27-13.
NOTES: It was the first game in uniform for center Cole Aldrich, who came to the Kings following a trade with Houston that also included Toney Douglas and Patrick Patterson. … It was an exciting end of the first half for the Kings, who had a spectacular dunk by Cousins followed by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Evans. … Mullens, Charlotte’s center, had 10 points in the first half, but zero rebounds.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.