New Orleans (8-11) at Sacramento (8-12)

Fair Currently: Sacramento, CA
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Sun Dec 11, 2005
  • TV: CSCA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Sacramento Kings shook their longest losing streak in nine seasons Saturday.

Now, they’ll look to start climbing out of the Pacific Division basement when they host the slumping New Orleans Hornets.

The Kings beat the Seattle SuperSonics 123-104 on Friday, snapping a five-game slide. The losing streak was Sacramento’s longest since a 12-game skid in the the 1997-98 season.

“This is the type of game we can have when we’re all clicking at the same time,” Bonzi Wells said. “We’ve been trying to get off the slide the last however many games. We really needed this one.”

Wells scored a season-high 31 and Peja Stojakovic broke out of a shooting slump with 23 for the Kings, who are in fifth place in the Pacific, 6 1/2 games behind the surprising Los Angeles Clippers.

Stojakovic had averaged just 10.5 points and was shooting just 29 percent since missing three games after injuring his right pinky finger in the first matchup Nov. 20 with Seattle. He went 8-of-14 from the field against the Sonics, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range.

“I was aggressive from the first minute,” Stojakovic said. “I’m just trying to get better and get back to the shape I was before I got hurt. I don’t have a great touch for the ball, but it’s getting better each and every game.”

Mike Bibby scored 24 points, Shareef Abdur-Rahim added 17 and Brad Miller 15 for the Kings, who shot a season-high 58 percent.

Sacramento is the only team in the NBA to have a guard (Wells) lead the team in rebounding and a center (Miller) lead in assists. Wells is grabbing 8.0 rebounds per game, while Miller is averaging 6.3 assists.

The Hornets lost 98-95 Friday to the Portland Trail Blazers. New Orleans has lost four in a row, matching its worst losing streak of the season.

The Hornets were just 1-of-6 in overtime and squandered opportunities with four turnovers in the fourth quarter.

“We can’t come up with empty possessions like that in the fourth quarter, especially when we have the lead,” said Hornets guard Speedy Claxton, whose 27 points were one off his career high.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 10): Hornets - 4th place, 7 1/2 GB, Southwest Division. Kings - 5th place, 6 1/2 GB, Pacific Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Hornets - F Desmond Mason, F David West, C P.J. Brown, G J.R. Smith, G Chris Paul. Kings - F Stojakovic, F Abdur-Rahim, C Miller, G Wells, G Bibby.

TEAM LEADERS: Hornets - Paul and West, 16.3 ppg; Brown, 8.2 rpg; Paul, 6.8 apg. Kings - Bibby, 19 ppg; Wells, 8 rpg; Miller, 6.3 apg.

SEASON SERIES: Hornets, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 1; Hornets, 93-67. At Oklahoma City, Brown scored 20 points and Smith added 19 for New Orleans in the season-opener for both teams. The game also marked the Hornets’ Oklahoma City debut.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Hornets - 4-7 on the road; Kings - 6-7 at home.

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Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists