Hornets 114, Kings 105

Peter Finney Jr., The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW ORLEANS -- Playing without No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson scored 17 of his team-high 27 points in the second period to lift the New Orleans Hornets to a 114-105 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday.
The Hornets raced to a 25-point halftime lead with outstanding perimeter shooting, but Davis limped off the court with a sprained left ankle just before halftime.
Davis had 11 points and six rebounds in the first half, but he was wincing in pain as the Hornets medical staff looked at his left foot.
Davis missed 11 consecutive games earlier this season with a stress reaction in the same ankle. He did not play in the second half, and the injury was diagnosed as a sprain.
The Hornets (14-27) blew open the game in the first half by making seven 3-pointers on their way to a 64-39 halftime lead.
Anderson, the NBA leader in made 3s, was 5-of-8 from long range in the second quarter, scoring 17 of his 19 first-half points in the quarter. Anderson hit his first three perimeter shots from the left wing and then added two more from the right side as the Kings' defense failed to account for him in transition.
The Hornets built their 25-point lead on the strength of 53 percent shooting while holding the Kings to 15-of-44 from the floor (34.1 percent) and forcing eight turnovers.
The Kings (16-26) appeared to sleepwalk through the first half, perhaps because the game started at 10 a.m. PST. But they went on a 24-3 run, Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas scoring seven points each, to cut the deficit to 80-72.
But with the Hornets leading 91-81, Anderson hit back-to-back 3s to pad the margin. The Kings again cut the deficit to 104-97 with 3:13 left, but the Hornets scored five straight.
The Hornets, who have won seven of nine games, put four other players in double figures: Greivis Vasquez (19), Eric Gordon (16), Al-Farouq Aminu (14) and Davis (11).
The Kings were led by DeMarcus Cousins' game-high 29 points.
Notes: In the face of reports that the Kings would be sold to a Seattle-based group and relocated to Seattle in time for next season, Sacramento coach Keith Smart remained resolute in focusing on what he and his team could control. "My job as a coach and the job of the players doesn't change," Smart said. "We have to go about our business of winning games. I think everyone else who's involved (within the organization), it puts them up in arms a little bit. It's a tough thing for our team, our organization. ... We feel for the fans that have been there for us but this is the nature of the business." ... Kings guard Isaiah Thomas, who grew up in Tacoma, Wash., said he was a Seattle fan as a child. "It's just a little weird (but) at the same time I love Sacramento," Thomas said. "I love everything about it. Love the fans, the organization just brought me in with open arms. I just love both cities. It's out of my control." ... The Kings dropped to 4-16 on the road. ... Hornets backup point guard Brian Roberts returned to action after missing two games with a sprained left ankle.

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