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(Tuesday, December 17th)
Final Score: Charlotte 95, Sacramento 87
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Kemba Walker netted 24 points in the Charlotte Bobcats' 95-87 win over the Sacramento Kings from Time Warner Cable Arena.
Gerald Henderson contributed 20 points and Ramon Sessions provided 16 off the bench as Charlotte snapped a three-game losing streak.
Al Jefferson had 10 points and nine rebounds before fouling out.
The loss spoiled a tremendous effort from DeMarcus Cousins, who filled it up with 30 points, 17 rebounds and six assists for Sacramento. Isaiah Thomas had 21 points as the Kings fell to 1-2 since Rudy Gay made his team debut last week.
Gay, who had just four points on 1-of-6 shooting in 24 minutes, left in the third period with knee stiffness and did not return.
The Bobcats never trailed in the second half but the game was very much up for grabs early in the fourth quarter, when Jason Thompson's layup cut Charlotte's lead to 80-78.
Out of a timeout, however, Charlotte buckled down defensively and went on an 11-1 run to assume control. Jefferson made a pair of field goals during the surge, including a layup with 3:32 remaining to make it 91-79. The Bobcats weren't challenged after that.
"Tonight I think we did a better job of finishing the game," said Henderson. "Against some of the really good teams we struggle with that, but I think we're getting better at it."
Earlier, Cousins made his presence felt with 10 points in the first quarter, but Henderson had 12 and Charlotte shot 14-of-23 from the floor to take a 35-22 lead after 12 minutes.
"For me, this game was lost in the first quarter," said Kings head coach Mike Malone. "You look at quarters two, three and four, we outscored them 65-60 and hold them to 38 percent from the field. I thought our defense after that first quarter was great."
The lead ballooned to 18 points on a Cody Zeller jam 2:35 into the second, but Sacramento stayed at arm's length when Quincy Acy's 3-point play sparked a 9-0 Kings' run. Jimmer Fredette added a deep trey and Derrick Williams added three the old fashioned way for a 42-33 Charlotte edge.
Walker's stepback jumper 2.7 ticks before the halftime buzzer gave the Bobcats a 56-43 cushion at intermission.
The game featured just two ties and one lead change ... Both teams had 42 rebounds ... Charlotte will visit Toronto on Wednesday, while the Kings' four- game road trip continues in Atlanta on Wednesday.
12/18 00:20:48 ET