Kings Break Hornets’ Streak 102-96
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and the Sacramento Kings snapped the New Orleans Hornets’ winning streak at 10 games with a 102-96 victory Saturday night.
Sacramento never trailed in winning consecutive games for the second time all season. The Kings were coming off another huge win Friday night when they beat the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Fouled-plagued Tyreke Evans had nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter for the Kings, who have won three of four games. Samuel Dalembert had 16 points and Beno Udrih added 14.
David West scored 21 points for the Hornets, who were looking to set a franchise record with 11 straight victories. Chris Paul had 19 points and seven assists, Marcus Thornton had 16 points and Emeka Okafor 15.
A goaltending violation gave Thornton a basket and West followed with a medium-range jumper at the 1:43 mark, pulling the Hornets to 96-94. The Kings responded once again with Dalembert tipping in a missed shot and Udrih making two free throws for a 100-94 lead with 31 seconds remaining.
Trailing by nine to start the fourth, the Hornets cut it to 89-87 on Okafor’s two free throws at the 5:45 mark. But Evans scored off a drive and passed off to Omri Casspi for a layup, helping Sacramento build the lead to 94-87.
The third quarter didn’t start out well for the Kings. Evans picked up two fouls in the first 3 minutes and walked dejectedly to the Sacramento bench with five fouls.
Yet the Kings stayed in front 76-67 heading into the fourth with some unlikely players leading the way. Dalembert had seven points and seldom-used Luther Head, subbing for Evans, scored five.
The Kings went to Cousins early and the rookie center delivered. He had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists in the first half when the Kings led 56-46. Sacramento led the entire first half and built a 17-point lead, but the Hornets closed the second quarter with a 9-2 run.
NOTES: Cousins scored 10 points and Evans had nine in the opening quarter when the Kings led 24-22. … Paul hasn’t missed a game this season after playing in just 45 last season. … Kings starting forward Jason Thompson left the game with a sprained right ankle in the first quarter and didn’t return.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)