Preview: Keys to Beat Kings
Preview: Keys to Beat Kings

By Matt Rochinski,

January 3, 2014

KEY MATCHUP vs. KINGS: Al Jefferson vs. DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins had a huge game against the Cats on Dec. 17 in Charlotte, finishing with 30 points and 17 rebounds. Cousins got the better of Al Jefferson (10 points, nine rebounds) in that contest, but Big Al has been playing at a high level as of late. In the nine games since taking on the Kings, Jefferson has averaged a double-double (20.4 points, 11.8 rebounds) while dishing out 1.6 assists and blocking 1.00 shot. He’s had double-doubles in seven of those nine contests, including a 24-point, 23-rebound performance on Dec. 28 in Atlanta. Jefferson has now also scored in double figures in 21-straight games – the Cats longest active streak… DeMarcus Cousins leads the Kings in scoring (23.1 points) and rebounding (11.4). He has six 30+point games and 19 double-doubles this season. Cousins has scored 20 or more points in 14 of the last 17 games (24.4 points in that span) and is averaging 24.0 points and 14.3 rebounds in the last six games. Whoever gets the better of this matchup between two of the NBA’s best big men could be the determining factor in who wins this contest.


The Bobcats have held their opponent under 100 points in 24 of their 34 games this season, which is tied for the most such games in the NBA. However, Charlotte has allowed its opponent to break the 100-point barrier three times in its current five-game losing streak, including a 134-point performance by the Trail Blazers on Thursday in Portland. Opponents are averaging 102.7 points on the Cats current skid. The Bobcats held 13 straight opponents under 100 points from Nov. 13-Dec. 6, which tied the second-longest streak in franchise history and tied the longest streak in the NBA this season, set by the Spurs from Nov. 5-29… Nine of the Bobcats 14 victories this season have been decided by six points or fewer. The Bobcats have the most wins in the NBA in games decided by six points or less this season… Chris Douglas-Roberts continues to see his minutes increase with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (hand) and Jeffery Taylor (Achilles) sidelined. He came off the bench and scored a season-high 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including 2-for-3 from long range against the Blazers and added four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in 23 minutes. He is averaging 8.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in his last four games… Kemba Walker scored six points on Thursday in Portland, ending his streak of scoring in double figures in 22-straight games, the longest streak of his career.


The Kings have scored 100 or more points in 14 of the last 15 games (including the last eight contests) and are averaging 104.4 points in that 15-game span ... Sacramento has dished out 20 or more assists in 20 games this season ... The Kings have turned the ball over 20 times or more in three of the last five contests ... The last eight Kings opponents have scored over 100 points and are averaging 111.6 points after the previous two opponents averaged 93.0 points… Isaiah Thomas has started the last 13 games and is averaging 21.3 points, 7.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 38.1 minutes. Thomas has scored 20 or more points in 11 of the last 14 games, and 10 of his 13 starts. He has made at least one three-pointer in each of the last 25 games and currently holds the fourth-longest streak in franchise history… Rudy Gay has scored 20-or-more points in seven of the 11 games he has played for the Kings since being acquired with Quincy Acy and Aaron Gay from Toronto in exchange for Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez on Dec. 9. He is averaging 19.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.55 steals in 36.3 minutes with the Kings.


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