The Charlotte Bobcats have established themselves as one of the best defensive teams in the league through the first 25 games of the season. In the 95-87 home win over the Sacramento Kings it was more of the same as the visiting team shot a lowly 37 percent from the field and 26 percent from three-point range.
"Our guys had a great game defensively," Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford said, "we rotated well and got in the passing lanes about as well as I've seen all year".
With the exception of Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins who tallied 30 points and 17 rebounds, the Bobcats locked up every other player on the floor including newly acquired forward Rudy Gay who went 1-6 from the field with four points and point guard Isaiah Thomas who hit only eight of the 23 shots he took on his way to 21 points.
"Coach put in a great game plan and we just wanted to go out and execute it tonight," Bobcats guard Kemba Walker said, "we did not want to give them good looks at the basket and we tried to eliminate the extra pass and I think for the most part we were able to do that".
As impressive as Charlotte was on defense it was the offensive efficiency of the backcourt that stood out the most. Walker, Gerald Henderson and Ramon Sessions accounted for almost two-thirds of the Bobcats scoring and helped build a lead in the first quarter that they would never relinquish.
Walker and Henderson combined for 44 points and 10 assists on 14 of 26 shooting, taking turns hitting big shot after big shot to keep the Kings at bay. Sessions 16 points and six assists off the bench gave Charlotte the lift it needed to close the deal in the fourth quarter.
"We have just been working hard and pushing each other in practice," Walker said, "the coaching staff has been great at making sure we get up plenty of shots so we can get into a rhythm come game time".
The Bobcats hope to keep that rhythm going as they begin a two-game road trip starting with the new look Toronto Raptors, the team Gay was traded from in a seven-player deal. Gay also left tonight's game in the third quarter with stiffness in his right knee.
After Wednesday night's game in Canada, the Bobcats will then head to Detroit to face the Pistons on Friday night before coming back home to host the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.