The Sacramento Kings return home from a largely unsuccessful road trip Sunday evening to take on the Charlotte Bobcats at Sleep Train Arena.
The Kings went 1-4 in a recent swing through the Southern part of the United States. They lost to the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Hornets, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs. Their lone victory came in the fourth game of the trip, a 125-101 win in Orlando.
Sacramento fought the Heat tough in a double-overtime thriller on Tuesday, but came out on the short end. It was the very next night they blew out the Magic, but the Kings have serious problems on the defensive side.
They've allowed over 100 points in 10 straight and in their last three games, the opposition is averaging 124.0 ppg. Granted, the double-overtime tilt with the Heat was mixed in there, but Miami torched the Kings for 141 and the Spurs, the final game of the trip on Friday, lit the scoreboard for 130.
"They did a lot of back-door cutting, I think we could do a better job against that," said Tyreke Evans. "That kind of hurt us. They got easy buckets."
The Spurs shot 61 percent against the Kings and handed out 41 assists on 51 made field goals.
Offense hasn't been a problem for the Kings. During the above-mentioned three- game stretch, Sacramento has averaged 118.6 ppg and the Kings have scored over 100 in nine of their last 10.
Marcus Thornton led the Kings with 25 points off the bench. He's gone for 20- plus in his last three games. Isaiah Thomas and Evans were the only other Kings in double figures.
The Bobcats are in game three of a four-game western trek and the first two weren't pretty. They fell to the Los Angeles Clippers, 106-84 on Tuesday, then got trounced by the Utah, 98-68 on Friday.
Against the Jazz, Charlotte tallied 24 points in the first half. The Jazz had 26 in the second quarter alone, but led by 23. Byron Mullens was Charlotte's leading scorer with 12 and Ramon Sessions had 11.
The Jazz loss was particularly discouraging with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap both out of Utah's starting lineup. Enes Kanter filled in for Jefferson at the center spot and had 23 points and 22 rebounds.
"They killed us in every stat line. Obviously Kanter had a good game; stepped up in the starting position with (Al) Jefferson and (Paul) Millsap out. They just had it from the start," said Mullens. "We need a win."
The Bobcats have lost five straight and are 2-11 since the start of February. Charlotte is 5-22 in 2013 and the good news is three of those five wins were on the road. Sadly, two of the three were against the Orlando Magic.
The Kings have won two in a row in this series, including a 97-93 victory on Jan. 19 in Charlotte. The Bobcats have won their last three times in California's capital.