Artest, Kings crown Hornets
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Ron Artest had a solid all-around game with
21 points, six rebounds, nine assists and five steals, as the Kings crowned
the Hornets, 105-99, for their third consecutive victory.
Mike Bibby contributed 19 points and Kevin Martin 14 for Sacramento, which has
also won four in a row at home.
Chris Paul had 24 points, six assists and five steals for New Orleans/Oklahoma
City, which had a two-game winning streak broken. Desmond Mason ended with 17
points while David West scored 16 for the Hornets.
The Hornets, who trailed by 16 points at the end of the opening quarter, were
within 91-90 with 6:38 left in the game after Tyson Chandler’s jumper.
However, Shareef Abdur-Rahim slammed, and after Chandler missed a jumper,
Quincy Douby nailed a three-pointer for the Kings.
The Hornets got within three a few times, the last at 102-99 on two free
throws from West with 25.8 seconds remaining. However, Artest hit one free
throw, and after Brad Miller blocked a pair of shots for the Kings, Martin
sealed the win with another two free throws.
Abdur-Rahim had 12 points, Kenny Thomas 11 and Miller 10 for the Kings.
Devin Brown donated 11 points for the Hornets.
Ten straight points by the Kings moved them to a 40-24 lead after one quarter.
Sacramento remained comfortably in front, 63-50 at the half before the Hornets
pulled within 87-79 going into the fourth.
The Hornets have lost 14 of their last 15 at Sacramento…The Kings connected
on half of their 16 three-point tries.