Thornton, Evans lift Kings over Bobcats, 97-93

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm •  Published: January 19, 2013
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings were determined Saturday night to make amends after one of their most embarrassing defeats of the season just 24 hours earlier.

Mission accomplished.

Marcus Thornton scored 18 points off the bench, Tyreke Evans came up big down the stretch, and the Kings held on to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 97-93 for their third win in four games.

After scoring just 69 points in a 16-point loss to Memphis, the Kings made sure there would not be another offensive letdown.

They led most of the way but needed a late burst from Evans, who scored six of the team's last nine points in the final four minutes. He finished with 16 for the game.

DeMarcus Cousins added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and James Johnson chipped in with nine points and a season-high nine rebounds for the Kings (16-25).

"This was a great win for us," Johnson said. "We're struggling a little bit, especially after last night. Memphis had their way with us and we looked like a team that gave up — and that's not us. We wanted to get back to our fundamentals and outplay them and outrun them."

Cousins said: "Now hopefully we can come out Monday against New Orleans and do the same thing."

Kemba Walker had a chance to tie the game but shot an airball on a 3-point attempt with 3 seconds left as Charlotte lost its 14th straight game at home. Walker had 14 points and 10 assists.

Ramon Sessions scored 16 points for Charlotte (10-30) while Gerald Henderson chipped in with 15.

"Our guys did a good job of moving the ball and making that extra pass tonight," Kings coach Keith Smart said of his team's 24 assists.

The Kings led most of the game and took a 78-76 lead into the fourth quarter.

After being on the verge of taking the lead most of the quarter, the Bobcats finally jumped ahead with 3:35 left on a transition layup by Henderson off a nice feed from Walker.

That's about when the Bobcats began to meltdown.

Charlotte had a chance to push the lead to four but was called for a shot clock violation at the worst time possible.

Evans tied the game with a pair of free throws on the other end.

Both teams went more than two minutes during an ugly stretch of turnover-filled basketball before Evans took advantage of Hakim Warrick's turnover and scored an easy layup on a fast break for a 92-90 lead with 1:19 left to put the Kings ahead for good.