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(Wednesday, April 11th)
Final Score: New Orleans 105, Sacramento 96
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Jason Smith had 22 points, Marco Belinelli scored 21 and New Orleans posted a 105-96 victory over Sacramento in a matchup between the two worst teams in the Western Conference.
Greivis Vasquez totaled 15 points and five assists for the Hornets, who have won three of their last five games.
Marcus Thornton paced the Kings with 25 points, while Tyreke Evans finished with 19 points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals.
"We played well early in the game," said Kings head coach Keith Smart. "I thought we did a good job early in the game. This team, New Orleans is going to play hard all the time. They are going to make plays all the time. They just grind it out. We had so many easy plays that we could have made that we didn't make, easy shots that we could have made."
Sacramento dropped its sixth straight game, tying a season high (Feb. 11-21).
The Kings built a 29-20 lead after 12 minutes, with Thornton supplying 13 points. But the visitors shot only 31.3 percent in the second quarter.
Conversely, the Hornets made 66.7 percent of their attempts from the floor, and a Belinelli three-pointer put them up 50-49 at halftime.
"At the start of the game, [the Kings] scored a lot of points on offense. We just got everybody together and told them to get back on defense," Belinelli said.
New Orleans erased an early six-point deficit in the third quarter as Belinelli drained another trey to make it 68-61.
The Hornets extended their lead to 12 in the fourth quarter, but it was trimmed to 96-92 on Evans' driving layup with 4:06 remaining. Sacramento couldn't get any closer.
Xavier Henry had 14 points for New Orleans, while Chris Kaman totaled eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds...Jason Thompson recorded 18 points and seven boards for the Kings...Sacramento won the first three meetings and was looking to sweep the season series for the first time since winning both matchups in 2003-04.
04/11 23:46:31 ET
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