Peja Stojakovic scored 20 to lead Sacramento, which appeared tired from playing its third game in four days, including a dramatic victory in Dallas a night earlier. The Kings have lost five of their last seven.
“After the way we played Tuesday night against Dallas, we needed extra energy,” Stojakovic said. “They jumped on us from the first moment. Every time we’d make a mistake … they’d score easy buckets.”
After shooting well early, the Kings struggled to hit shots through most of the last three quarters and trailed by 24 early in the fourth quarter. Sacramento shot under 39 percent for the game.
P. J. Brown, who scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his team-leading 13th double-double of the season, said he watched the Sacramento-Dallas game a night earlier.
“They were missing some pieces and played a tough game (Tuesday) night so I thought we did a good job taking advantage of that,” Brown said. “We made a point to get on them early and make them play catch-up. Our offense was good and our defense was even better.”
Mashburn scored six points during a 13-2 run that put the Hornets up 80-60, and the Hornets continued to answer whatever the Kings threw at them.
When Stojakovic hit a 3-pointer to make it 82-65 near the end of the third quarter, Wesley came right back with a 3-pointer.
The Hornets shot 49 percent and outrebounded the Kings 52-41 en route to their second straight victory.
Mashburn, who hit four 3-pointers, concluded a three-game tear heading into his first All-Star game. He scored 39 and 30 points in his previous two games.
With Baron Davis out, Mashburn has been playing what coach Paul Silas calls point-forward—essentially a forward who also brings the ball up the floor and runs the offense at times.
“He has a presence there. He’s making great shots,” Silas said.
Hornets reserve Jerome Moiso had a career-high 13 points, including a pair of hard one-handed jams off Hornets misses.
Reserve guard Jim Jackson scored 19 for the Kings. Keon Clark, who played for Divac in the second half, had 10 points and nine rebounds. Mike Bibby had 11 points but did not score in the second half. He sat out the fourth quarter as coach Rick Adelman sensed his team didn’t have it in them to come back from a 20-point deficit.
“We really had no energy tonight at all. In the second half we just had nothing left,” Adelman said.
Both teams shot well over 50 percent early, and the score was close until New Orleans went on an 11-0 run to take a 53-41 lead. Wesley hit a 3 early in the spurt, then Mashburn, who had 14 in the half, hit a fallaway and drove the baseline for an up-and-under basket.
Stojakovic then hit a 3 and scored on a baseline drive to bring the Kings to55-46 at halftime.
George Lynch got his second straight start, but only his third of the season. Silas put Lynch on Stojakovic, shifting Wesley from shooting guard to point guard, as he did last game. Lynch scored eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers. … The Kings won their only other meeting of the season with New Orleans, 107-92 in Sacramento. … Bryce Drew was back in the Hornets’lineup after missing 12 games with an inflamed foot.