March 16, 2011
CLEVELAND (12-53) vs.
Coverage begins at 7 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California
SACRAMENTO (AP) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference while the Sacramento Kings are last in the West.
RELATED: NBA conference standings
With Sacramento coming off one of its best efforts of the season thanks largely to Marcus Thornton, Cleveland is coming off one of its worst.
The Kings will look for back-to-back wins for just the third time all season when they host the Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
Thornton, who averaged 7.8 points off the bench with New Orleans before being acquired prior to the trade deadline, is averaging 22.2 points on 49.1 percent shooting in 10 games since joining the Kings (16-49).
He scored a career-high 42 points as Sacramento scored its most points in a regulation game and made a season-best 56.6 percent of its shots in a 129-119 win over Golden State on Monday night.
REWIND: Kings hold on for win over Warriors
"Certainly that's above and beyond what you expect from anyone," coach Paul Westphal told the Kings' official website. "Especially after the guy comes over and wasn't playing all that much on the team he was on previously. He just needed the opportunity and he's embraced it in a big way.
"Our guys have confidence in him, he's obviously got confidence and I don't think it's his last 40-point game."
The Cavaliers know all to well of Thornton's scoring abilities, as he had 37 points - his previous career high - in Cleveland's 105-95 win over the Hornets on Feb. 23, 2010.
Thornton is averaging 28.5 points in two career games against Cleveland.
While the Cavaliers haven't been able to slow down Thornton, they've also struggled to shut down their opponents recently.
Cleveland (12-53) has allowed teams to shoot 50.5 percent in losing four straight and six of seven. The Cavs scored their second-fewest points of the season in a 95-75 loss to Oklahoma City on Sunday.
REWIND: Westbrook, Durant lead Thunder past Cavs
After getting outscored by 25 over the second and third quarters in its 110-90 loss at Milwaukee last Wednesday night, Cleveland entered the fourth quarter Sunday down by 19.
"I'm really starting to question what type of heart we have as a basketball team," coach Byron Scott said. "I care about competing. I care about coming out every single night, going against an opponent that has a different color jersey on that's trying to kick your butt - and not to respond to that is shocking and scary to me.
"It really makes me a little bit nervous and weary of what's gonna happen on this (three-game) road trip, because the last two games, I haven't seen the passion that I need to see from our guys."
The Cavaliers have lost 27 of 28 on the road while allowing 109.1 points per game.
Cleveland, which averaged 109.1 points over eight games following its NBA- record 26-game losing streak, has averaged 82.8 on 38.2 percent shooting in four games since.
Cavs point guard Baron Davis missed the last two games to be with his family following the death of his grandmother. It is unknown if he will be available Wednesday.
Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins had 14 points and 10 rebounds in a 107-104 victory at Cleveland on Oct. 30 to help snap an eight-game losing streak in the series.
Cousins is averaging 19.9 points and 11.1 boards in seven games this month.