The Charlotte Bobcats snapped a five-game losing streak Friday and will try to carry that momentum into a home game Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings.
The Bobcats earned just their fifth road win of the season on Friday night when they toppled the Orlando Magic, 106-100, in Orlando. Kemba Walker was impressive for Charlotte Friday night. He led the team in scoring with 25 points, rebounding with eight, steals with two and minutes played at almost 36.
Walker's sophomore season growth has been sensational. The No. 9 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft leads the Bobcats in scoring, assists and steals and is one of just five players in the league who leads his team in those five categories.
Walker's growth is perhaps the main reason the Bobcats have already surpassed last season's win total.
"One is that he's a one man break, so we encourage him to freeform when he comes down the floor and the possession is his until he stops," said head coach Mike Dunlap. "Two is that he doesn't turn the ball over. He's very responsible with it and he's been doing a better job of finding other people in the pick and roll. And three is that, whether its charges, hands on balls, deflections, even rebounds, he's right up there for it. So I think that his growth, it all comes out to confidence. We're letting them play a very open game."
Gerald Henderson scored 16 of his 17 points in the first half, but spent most of the second half on the bench with a heating pad on his back. His availability for Saturday is unknown.
Hakim Warrick and Ramon Sessions chipped in 15 points each.
Charlotte returns home for four in a row and that may not be a great thing. The Bobcats last four victories have all come on the road and their last win inside The Time Warner Cable Arena was on Nov. 21 against the Toronto Raptors.
The Bobcats can take some solace in knowing the Kings come to town tied for the second-fewest road wins in the NBA with three.
On Friday night, the Kings were trounced by the Memphis Grizzlies, 85-69, in Memphis. The loss snapped a two-game win streak as Sacramento had no answers offensively.
The Kings were held to season-lows in points (69), field-goal percentage (34.1 percent) and assists (9).
"Offensively, for some, we just couldn't get it together," John Salmons said after the game. "We got some good looks, just wasn't going down. Hopefully, we can figure that out tomorrow."
Nothing cures a bad offensive night like seeing the Bobcats jersey on the other side. Charlotte is 29th in opponents' scoring, allowing 103.4 ppg.
DeMarcus Cousins led all Kings scorers with 22 points, as he's gone for over 20 in four of his last five. He also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Kings, who are in the second of a three-game road trip, won last season's only meeting with the Bobcats and it was in Charlotte, but the Bobcats won the six previous games.