CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Sacramento Kings felt humiliated in a loss at Memphis on Friday night, when they were held to a season-low 68 points.
So on Saturday night, the Kings did something about it.
They bounced back with a 97-93 victory over Charlotte, handing the hapless Bobcats their 14th straight loss at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Kings led by as many as 10 in the first half, but ultimately had to come from behind in the final three minutes. They got six straight points from Tyreke Evans, then three free throws from Isaiah Thomas, and got defensive stops on three of Charlotte's last four possessions.
It was the Kings' third win in their last four games and moved them to 16-25. It was also just their fourth road win of the season.
"Just to get any road win is great for us right now, because we've been struggling," reserve forward James Johnson said. "Especially after last night. Memphis kinda had their way with us. We looked like a team that gives up, and that's not us."
The Kings shot just 34.1 percent from the field and scored just 30 points the entire first half in their loss at Memphis on Friday night. The Kings had lost by 32 to Memphis at home two weeks ago.
"I don't believe anything prepares you for the beating we took from Memphis," said center DeMarcus Cousins. "But I guess you could say that game kinda prepared us for tonight, and we dealt with it well."
Marcus Thornton came off the bench to lead Sacramento with 18 points, and Cousins had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Evans finished with 16 points, Thomas 15 and Jason Thompson 11.
Evans rose to the occasion after the Bobcats took a 90-88 lead on Gerald Henderson's layup with 3:35 remaining. First, Evans hit two free throws for a 90-90 tie. Then, he gave Sacramento the lead for good with a fastbreak layup with 1:19 remaining. After Hakim Warrick missed on Charlotte's next possession, Evans came back with another layup off a nifty pass from Cousins, and the Kings led 94-90 with 44 seconds remaining.
Ramon Sessions gave Charlotte life and cut the lead to one with a three-point play with 40.2 seconds remaining, but Thomas came back to hit two free throws with 18.4 seconds left. And after Charlotte's Kemba Walker airballed a 3-point attempt on Charlotte's next possession, Thomas put the game out of reach at 97-93 with another free throw with 2.4 seconds left.
Kings coach Keith Smart said he was pleased with the way the Kings maintained their composure down the stretch.
"When the game gets tight, composure is big, and I thought our young guys did a great job," Smart said. "We came down and managed to get the plays and the matchups we needed. I think them running what we needed to have run at that point was critical. We didn't take a quick jump shot. We didn't try to force it inside. We did some of that stuff early, but I think the last two minutes or so we ran what was necessary and nobody tried to hunt for a shot."
Smart said he was particularly happy that the Kings had 24 assists on their 37 field goals. Against Memphis, they had only nine assists for the entire game.
"When we play together and pass the ball, we're a hard team to beat," Cousins said. "As long as we do that, the sky's the limit for this team."
Charlotte dropped to 10-30 and failed to build any momentum off its win at Orlando on Friday night. This was a typical Bobcats performance -- they fell behind quickly, had to play catch-up all night, and then couldn't make any plays down the stretch.
Sessions led the way with 16 points, Henderson scored 15, and Walker had 14 points and 10 assists.
The Bobcats haven't won at home since Nov. 21 over Toronto.
"As soon as we won last night, we planted the seed about what tonight meant," Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said. "It's just something that we have to get better at. I'm on that and so are the players.
They understand. They want to give these fans a win, too."
NOTES: The Kings will close out this three-game road trip at New Orleans on Monday. ... This is a stretch where the Kings play nine of 11 games on the road. Still awaiting is a six-game road trip that starts on Jan. 26 in Denver. ... After a poor night at Memphis, Jimmer Fredette never got off the bench on Saturday night. ... Byron Mullens missed his 13th straight game for the Bobcats with a sprained left ankle, but he is back shooting at least and is starting to progress. ... Saturday night's game kicked off a four-game homestand for the Bobcats. They'll play Houston at home on Monday afternoon, then Atlanta and Minnesota next week.