Walker, Jefferson lead Bobcats over Kings 113-103

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 5, 2014 at 1:00 am •  Published: January 5, 2014
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Soaking his feet in a tub of ice in a happy locker room, Al Jefferson was smiling for two reasons Saturday evening.

The veteran forward came up big in the fourth quarter to preserve a Charlotte Bobcats victory and had done it on his 29th birthday.

Kemba Walker scored 30 points and Jefferson had a season-high 27 points and nine rebounds, and the Bobcats snapped a season-high five-game losing streak with a 113-103 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Jefferson was the go-to guy for Charlotte in the fourth quarter, making 4 of 5 shots, scoring 10 points, and adding four rebounds and a block.

"It was very important to get this win, but even better because it was my birthday," said Jefferson, who came to Charlotte as a free agent this summer. "I'm 2-0 in my last two birthdays."

The Bobcats had lost their previous two games by a combined 57 points, but took the lead for good with 17 unanswered points in the second quarter. The win helped ease the pain of a 1-4 road trip that started with an overtime loss to Atlanta and three-point defeat in Utah.

Against the Kings, Charlotte tied a season-high with 45 made field goals and shot a season-best 54 percent. The Bobcats hit 9 of 15 3-pointers.

"It was one of best games offensively this season," Charlotte first-year coach Steve Clifford said. "We had balance, we made a bunch of 3s, we posted up and we ran our pick-and-roll well. Kemba had a great night and Al played well too."

DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and 11 rebounds and Isaiah Thomas added 21 points and eight assists for the Kings, who are 6-13 at home this season. Rudy Gay had 17 points and a season-best 10 rebounds, and Jason Thompson contributed 14 points and 12 rebounds.

After impressive wins against Miami and Houston last month, the Kings hoped to put together a good stretch at home.

But Sacramento lost in an uninspired effort against Philadelphia on Thursday and didn't look energized against Charlotte either.

"It's disappointing — we're not defending. You look at Philadelphia and we didn't defend for three quarters, but tried to defend in the fourth quarter," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "Tonight, they scored 65 points and shot 64 percent from the field in the first half. Kemba and Al Jefferson got what they wanted tonight. It's becoming a broken record."