Bobcats 111, Kings 108
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)—Sean May is determined to eventually become a consistent outside shooter.
The plan moved into fast-forward on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-9 May, who had been 0-for-6 on 3s in his two-year career, hit both of his 3-point attempts.
“A lot of guys don’t expect me to shoot 3s,” May said. “As you can see, last year I started shooting 12 to 15 feet. Now, I’m moving it to 15 to 20. Hopefully I’ll eventually move out beyond that arc in a consistent basis.
“Tonight we were just fortunate that it went down and we got a huge win out of it.”
Felton also assisted on May’s 3, and his former North Carolina teammate never hesitated giving May the ball.
“He was open and he was hitting all game. Who else should I give it to?” Felton said. “He was right there and hitting jump shots all game. He had hit that 3 at the end of the shot clock earlier in the game, so I said why not? Go for it, big fella. Go for the kill.”
Kevin Martin scored 26 points for the Kings, but failed to hit the rim on a desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Ron Artest added 21 points, but ran into May and drew a charge with 10 seconds left with the Kings trailing by one.
“It wasn’t a charge, but referees for the most part give me a lot of calls,” Artest said. “So I’m not going to argue.”
Sacramento shot 52 percent, but committed 18 turnovers and lost its fourth straight game as it fights for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“It’s not a problem. We’ve just lost four games,” Artest said. “Dallas lost four in a row in the beginning of the season. We’re going to be fine.”
The short-handed Bobcats won their first game since part-owner Michael Jordan announced Bernie Bickerstaff would not return as coach next season.
And Derek Anderson said it means a lot to win for Bickerstaff.
“Because you know when you first start off, this is not the most attractive job,” Anderson said of the third-year expansion team. “But he’s made it attractive for people to want to come in and coach us. Hats off to that guy. He’s done a great job.”
Artest, in his third game back from a two-game absence following his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence, hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to put Sacramento ahead, 107-104. But Artest hit only 1 of 2 free throws six seconds later.
The Kings shot 60 percent in the first half in taking a 61-56 lead, with Martin and Artest combining for 29 points. Charlotte stayed in it by going 6-for-10 on 3-pointers in the half.
The Kings lost forward Kenny Thomas to a jammed left big toe in the third quarter, and Charlotte rallied to take an 82-80 lead behind Felton’s 11 points.
Martin’s 3 with 6:13 left gave the Kings a 96-91 lead, before Derek Anderson and Carroll made 3s to get Charlotte within one with less than five minutes to go.
“We haven’t done a very good job all year of defending the 3-point shot,” Kings coach Eric Musselman said. “Tonight it cost us the game.”
The Kings remain the only NBA team not to have beaten the Bobcats in Charlotte. … Bickerstaff will be busy over the next four days, scouting NCAA tournament games in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Thursday and Chicago on Sunday, in between Bobcats games on Friday and Saturday. “Not bad for a guy who was fired,” said Bickerstaff, upset with some reports that said he was forced out as coach. Bickerstaff said it was a mutual decision between he and Jordan. … Knight is afraid he’ll need additional abdominal surgery at the end of the season.