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Hornets-Kings Preview

AP - Sports

Coming off one of the worst shooting performances in their history and facing the possibility of playing without Eric Gordon for a third straight game, the New Orleans Hornets could use a reprieve.

Their next opponent may bring them one.

The Hornets look to bounce back from an ugly loss Sunday when they visit the struggling Sacramento Kings.

New Orleans (2-1) started the post-Chris Paul era in fine form with victories over Phoenix and Boston, but had an awful performance in a 93-78 home loss to the Suns on Friday, shooting 28.9 percent - the second-lowest mark in franchise history - and scoring only 33 points after halftime.

It was the second straight game for New Orleans without Gordon, who bruised his knee in the season opener and is still listed as day to day while the Hornets try to be cautious with him. Gordon was acquired in the trade that sent Paul to Los Angeles Clippers.

Acquired in the trade that sent Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, Gordon had 20 points including the game-winning basket in the opener but has not played since. Marco Belinelli has started in his place the last two games. Belinelli finished with eight points Friday, shooting 3 of 13.

While the offense struggled to get going without Gordon, the Hornets don't believe that must continue.

"We've got scorers on this team. Everybody on this team can average double-digit points. Just the ball didn't fall," said Carl Landry, who scored a team-high 17 points in Friday's loss. "It's unusual for a team to shoot (29) percent for the game. Unfortunately that was something we did tonight. It will turn around."

Gordon's potential absence might not matter against Sacramento's porous defense. The Kings (1-3) are giving up 103.5 points per game and have lost three straight since a season-opening win over the Los Angeles Lakers, including a 114-92 defeat to New York on Saturday.

The Knicks shot 10 of 28 from 3-point range, scoring 35 points in the first quarter and 36 in the fourth. Sacramento has given up an average of 58.0 points in the first halves of its last two games.

"From the beginning of the game until the end, we just looked lost,'' said Kings guard Tyreke Evans, who scored 13 points. "We just play off our natural talent and that's how we get our points. It's terrible right now and we've just got to figure something out.''

Sacramento had a season-high 22 offensive rebounds Saturday, but that was made possible by a 34.9 percent shooting performance. Despite all those offensive boards, the Kings managed only 22 second-chance points.

John Salmons struggled with foul trouble again, committing five in less than 24 minutes and finishing with seven points. Marcus Thornton had 14 points to lead the Kings.

New Orleans won three of four against the Kings last season, splitting a pair of meetings in Sacramento.

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