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    The Kings' Isaiah Thomas steals the ball from Charlotte's Gerald Henderson.


    Kings forward Jason Thompson dunks for two of his 18 points against Charlotte. Thompson also had 14 rebounds.

Salmons, Kings trounce Bobcats

Published: Monday, Mar. 4, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013 - 7:54 pm

The standing ovation grew louder as John Salmons walked toward the bench with 1:41 left in the third quarter.

The veteran forward had earned the cheers with yet another display of hot shooting that helped the Kings put away the team with the worst record in the NBA.

Salmons scored 19 of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter as the Kings posted their biggest blowout of the season, a 119-83 trouncing of the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday at Sleep Train Arena.

"They're showing appreciation for what you did out on the court, so I appreciate that," Salmons said of the cheers.

Salmons has given Kings fans a lot to cheer lately. He has been scoring at a proficient rate the Kings hadn't seen from him all season. He has scored 20 or more points six times this season, twice in the past three games.

Salmons is shooting 67.9 percent from three-point range in his past five games and has made three or more threes in four of his past five games.

Salmons made four threes in the third quarter and was 5 of 10 from behind the arc overall.

With Salmons keeping the offense going, the Kings led by 41 points in the third quarter by outscoring the Bobcats 50-14 over a span of the second and third quarters.

"It was fun," Salmons said. "We were moving the ball. My teammates were finding me, and I was able to hit shots. It definitely felt good."

The Kings (21-40) increased their lead to 43, their biggest of the season, in the fourth quarter.

Sacramento scored 43 points in the third quarter, the team's season high for any quarter. The 43 points also matched the most the Bobcats have given up in a quarter in franchise history. They also did so against Denver on Jan. 14, 2008.

Charlotte (13-46) was the perfect opponent for the Kings, who were coming off a 1-4 trip.

The Bobcats had lost five straight games, averaging only 83.7 points in their past three. That gave the Kings the opportunity to hold a team under 100 points after 10 consecutive games of failing to do so.

The last time Sacramento won by 36 or more points was Nov. 15, 2005, in a 119-83 rout of Utah.

The Kings have been outrebounded 39 times this season. You would not have guessed that against the Bobcats, whom they outrebounded 60-31. That's the largest margin for the Kings since a 62-32 advantage over the Los Angeles Lakers on April 10, 2005.

"We did what we were supposed to do," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "We got out and competed. The game was a little shaky starting off, but that was expected. Nevertheless, we did a good job of getting the game under control, and then our bench came in and provided us with some good stuff."

The Kings trailed by nine points in the first quarter before using an 11-2 run to tie the score 27-27 at the end of the first quarter.

Marcus Thornton then scored 10 of his 18 points in the second quarter to help spark the Kings' 50-14 run.

Six Kings scored in double figures. Jason Thompson had 18 points and 14 rebounds. Chuck Hayes grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds off the bench.

Salmons said the Kings' commitment to sharing the ball (26 assists) is helping his game and his teammates'.

"It feels like when my teammates are finding me, I've been open," Salmons said. "I've been in rhythm, so I've had a lot of confidence I'm going to knock the shots down. My teammates have a lot of confidence in me."

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