NBA Game Summary - Sacramento at New Orleans
(Wednesday, October 31st)
Final Score: New Orleans 104, Sacramento 90
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Chris Paul posted 22 points and 12 assists, as the New Orleans Hornets topped the Sacramento Kings, 104-90, to open their 2007-08 seasons at New Orleans Arena.
Peja Stojakovic scored 19 points for the Hornets, who are back in New Orleans for their first full season since the city was crushed by Hurricane Katrina. David West scored 17 points, and Tyson Chandler added 15 points and 13 boards. Recently-acquired shooting guard Morris Peterson scored 13 points, with three three-pointers.
Kevin Martin scored 26 points for the Kings, who opened a new chapter with Reggie Theus, who was introduced as Sacramento's new head coach on June 21st. John Salmons posted 22 points and nine assists, and Francisco Garcia added 17.
Leading 18-17 edge, the Hornets went on a 9-2 run capped by a Chandler alley-oop with 1:43 remaining, and led 29-24 heading into the second quarter.
The Hornets also opened the second on a 9-3 spurt as Jannero Pargo's layup put them ahead 38-27 with 8:17 to go, and later closed the stanza on a 15-3 run with Stojakovic's triple putting them up 57-42 at halftime.
"We did some really good things on both ends of the court," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "In the third quarter and the start of the fourth our second unit was very disappointing, but other than that I thought we played very well."
Trailing 87-61 heading into the fourth, Sacramento rallied for a 14-2 burst and Garcia's two straight layups closed the Kings deficit to 89-75. But, an 8-0 run down the stretch capped by Paul's three-point play at the three-minute mark sealed the win for New Orleans.
"I told our guys that our problem would be Chris Paul getting in the lane, and that was our problem," Theus said. "Chris Paul got in the lane a lot, he lived in the lane the whole time."
Theus, who played 4 1/2 of his 13 seasons in the NBA with the Kings, replaced Eric Musselman who was relieved of his duties on April 20th after just one season as the coach of the Kings...The Hornets will host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday before embarking on a three-game road trip. They will visit Denver, the Lakers and Portland on the upcoming swing. Sacramento is scheduled to visit San Antonio on Friday and Dallas on Saturday, before returning home for its home opener against the Seattle SuperSonics...The Kings have dropped six in a row on the road against the Hornets.
10/31 23:37:45 ET