Kings 121, Hornets 110

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 11, 2013
John Salmons had 22 points, and Jason Thompson and Marcus Thornton each added 20 to help the Sacramento Kings snap a four-game losing streak with a 121-110 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night. The Kings led by 17 at the half and surpassed the 100-point mark early in the fourth quarter when they stretched the lead to 28 points against the struggling Hornets. The victory halted a season-high five-game home losing streak for the Kings, who have a 20-20 record at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings haven't had a .500 or better home record since the 2007-08 season when they went 26-15. Isaiah Thomas had 15 points and DeMarcus Cousins 11 for the Kings. Eric Gordon scored 23 points, Robin Lopez had 20 and Brian Robers a career-high 20 for the Hornets, who have dropped two straight and four of five. New Orleans went 1-4 on its road trip and has now lost 10 of 11 away from home. Rookie Anthony Davis, the first pick in the 2012 draft, limped off the court midway through the fourth quarter after crashing to the floor while drawing an offensive foul against Thornton. Xavier Henry scored 15 points and Davis had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Quiet through the first three quarters, Thompson scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, including three consecutive jumpers that thwarted any hopes of a New Orleans comeback. Trailing by 30 points, the Hornets continued to cut into the lead in the fourth quarter. Gordon and Roberts both made two free throws, cutting the Sacramento lead to 113-100 with 3:41 remaining. But that's as close as the Hornets would get. Salmons had five points in 75 minutes over the previous three games, when he shot a combined 1 of 14. The veteran forward was 7 for 10 and made two 3-pointers for the Kings, who shot 55 percent. The Hornets cut the Sacramento lead to 11 midway through the third quarter but the Kings responded, closing the quarter with a 17-6 run for a 95-73 lead going into the fourth. Salmons scored 12 points in the third for the Kings. Earlier today, it was learned that the Maloof family ownership has given a Sacramento group seeking to buy the Kings until Friday at 5 p.m. to submit a written binding offer that matches the deal to sell the franchise to a Seattle group. If the offer is not received or does not match the Seattle offer, the Maloofs reportedly will cut off any talks with the Sacramento group. In January, the Maloofs agreed to sell their controlling interest in the Kings to Seattle investors - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen - for a reported $341 million. The Sacramento group looking to purchase the Kings includes Silicon Valley software mogul Vivek Ranadive, East Bay health-club financier Mark Mastrov, Sacramento developer Mark Friedman, and the Jacobs family of San Diego. The NBA Board of Governors is expected to decide the fate of the Kings at its April 18-19 meetings. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson was in a courtside seat Wednesday and commented on the situation at halftime. ''I feel good about where we are. We are down to the fourth quarter, a couple minutes left in the game, and I think what all the people are saying is good for us,'' Johnson said. ''Our ownership group is talking to the NBA and the Maloof's attorney on a regular basis. I feel comfortable with how strong our bid is, and how competitive it will be.'' The Kings used a 13-0 run in the second quarter to push their lead to 65-48 by halftime. Thornton made four 3-pointers and had 16 points for the Kings. Cousins had 11 points and Salmons scored 10 for Sacramento, which shot nearly 63 percent. It was a miserable opening half for the Hornets. They shot 41 percent, committed 11 turnovers and put up little resistance defensively. Lopez scored 12 points and Gordon had 10. Notes: Kings reserve F Patrick Patterson was a late scratch. He didn't dress for the second straight game due to a sore lower back. ... Hornets F Ryan Anderson, who attended Oak Ridge High School in the Sacramento region, shot 3 of 13 and had nine points. He averaged 22 points in the two games previous games against the Kings this season. ... Cousins and Thomas both scored 10 points in first quarter when the Kings shot 67 percent and led 35-28. ... Eight of the Hornets' 13 players have played two years or less in the NBA.
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