Venue: Sleep Train Arena (Sacramento, California)
Tipoff: 10:00 EST
TV: Fox Sports South
Well, this long, winless, and difficult road trip for the Bobcats will finally come to an end Saturday night. In the last four consecutive games away from the cable box, Charlotte has yet to win a game, but have played three tough playoff contending teams in the Clippers, Blazers, and Hawks.
The losing streak and consecutive games against powerhouse opponents will hopefully come to end in Sacramento tonight. The Kings started the season poorly but have improved of late as shown in recent wins against Miami and Houston.
In the season’s first matchup, the Bobcats defeated Sacramento 95-87 in Charlotte despite a 30 point and 17 rebound performance by King’s center DeMarcus Cousins. The Bobcats desperately need to improve their defensive effort on Cousins to have any shot of beating Sacramento tonight.
In addition, Charlotte should be cautious of Rudy Gay on the defensive side of the court. This will be Gay’s third game against the Bobcats thus far. In the first matchup against the ‘Cats, the Connecticut product excelled finishing with 20 points and five boards. In Charlotte’s second attempt against Gay, the Bobcats were able to hold the newly acquired King to just four points on one of six shooting. Despite Charlotte’s recent defensive success against the Sacramento small forward, Gay is averaging 23 points and four rebounds in his last four games. The Bobcats will need to improve their defensive effort on both Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins to have a shot at beating a Kings team.
Despite the presence of Gay and Cousins, under Steve Clifford’s leadership, the Bobcats should be able to keep the two stars in check and win in Sacramento.
It’s been a long road trip, but it’s going to end well for the ‘Cats. Charlotte wins 97-93.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe