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Hornets 110, Kings 95

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NEW ORLEANS -- Showing no ill effects from a strained right knee that he suffered two days earlier, rookie Anthony Davis scored 20 points, most of them on dunks in transition, and Eric Gordon added 17 to power the New Orleans Hornets to a 110-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday at the New Orleans Arena.

Davis had a thunderous dunk with 2:54 remaining, highlighting a 22-12 New Orleans run over the final eight minutes. That surge was good enough to hold off the Kings, who enjoyed torrid outside shooting. Sacramento finished 12-for-19 from 3-point range, including 6-for-7 by John Salmons, who led the Kings with 18 points. Salmons, however, missed all seven of his 2-point attempts.

The Hornets (20-37) snapped a three-game losing streak, while the Kings (19-38) lost for the 13th time in 15 road games.

The Hornets also got 17 points off the bench from Ryan Anderson, and Greivis Vasquez and Ryan Lopez had 12 each. Vasquez added 13 assists. The Kings got 16 points each from Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas.

New Orleans used a 12-0 run midway through the third quarter to take its biggest lead of the game to that point, 73-60, but the Kings came storming back by hitting six 3-pointers in the period -- five by Salmons.

When Thomas hit a 3-pointer with 8:03 left, drawing the Kings within 88-83, Sacramento had made eight of nine from long range in the second half, and one-third of its field goals had come from the perimeter.

However, the Hornets ran off the next eight points.

The Hornets held the Kings scoreless over the final 3:19 of the first half to take a 53-47 lead. Sacramento came up empty on seven consecutive possessions, and New Orleans used the defensive stand to close the half on a 6-0 run.

The Hornets used a three-guard lineup for a large portion of the first half, trying to expose 5-foot-9 point guard Thomas on the defensive end. Both Vasquez and Gordon posted up Thomas at will, and they also penetrated into the lane to set up easy baskets.

Gordon had 11 points in the first half, and Vasquez had six points and seven assists, including a pair of alley-oop setups for Davis. The NBA's No. 1 draft pick had 12 points and four rebounds in the first half, and he finished with eight rebounds.

Thompson scored 12 first-half points, and Cousins added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Kings before the break. Marcus Thornton's 3-pointer with 3:19 left, which tied the game 47-47, was the final score of the half for Sacramento.

NOTES: Hornets coach Monty Williams was bemoaning his team's recent habit of turning the ball over late in games. In their previous two home losses, Gordon had three fourth-quarter turnovers against the Chicago Bulls and then had a bad turnover in the final minute of a 104-100 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, a game the Hornets led by four with 56 seconds left. "Turnovers in untimely situations have hurt us," Williams said. "A lot of times it's just guys going for a home-run play, and that's where we've been talking about discipline. If a pass isn't there, you don't have to throw it. I'd rather you shoot it at the rim from half court than to throw it away. At least you've got a chance to rebound." ... Two of the three players acquired by the Kings in a Feb. 20 trade with Houston -- guard Toney Douglas and forward Patrick Patterson -- were with the team in New Orleans. Center Cole Aldrich, who had an ankle injury earlier in the season, stayed behind in Sacramento for additional medical tests. "Obviously, once he's cleared to be with us, he'll join us," Sacramento coach Keith Smart said. "Now we're just waiting for the tests to come through. There's just a little more extensive testing in the NBA than before." ... Smart, who grew up in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, bought 25 tickets for extended family. His career highlight as an Indiana player came when he made the jump shot in the Superdome that won the NCAA title for the Hoosiers in 1987. "Every time I pass by that building, all those memories start flowing again," Smart said. "Sometimes when I'm driving home to go see my mom, I've got to circle around the building, and those memories always come flooding back."
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