Hornets cruise past Kings

Hornets point guard Eric Gordan. Photo by Hornets.com

The New Orleans Hornets ended a three-game slide Sunday, breaking open a tight game in the fourth quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings 110-95.

The Hornets (20-37) saw their lead cut down to just two points late in the third quarter after Sacramento's John Salmons put up 15 points in the period.

But the Kings would get no closer thanks to New Orleans' bench, which outscored the Kings 29-22 in the fourth quarter.

New Orleans dominated the final 12 minutes, shooting 54.5 percent and outrebounding the Kings 14-6.

After the Hornets gave up a late lead in their Friday night loss to Dallas, it appeared the same was brewing Sunday. Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas scored two consecutive baskets, his 3-pointer cutting the Hornets' lead to 88-83 with eight minutes to play.

And then the Hornets took over. Beginning with a Roger Mason Jr. free throw, the New Orleans scored 12 of the next 14 points scored in the game.

While New Orleans didn't force but one turnover in the quarter, it held the Kings to 42.1 percent shooting and didn't turn the ball twice itself.

For Sacramento, the road doesn't get any easier. The Kings are in the midst of a five-game road swing in which they still have to face the reigning NBA champion Heat and current Western Conference leader San Antonio.

And they still have to find a way to work in newly-acquired players Patrick Patterson, Toney Douglas and Cole Aldrich, though the Aldrich has yet to pass his physical.

The Hornets closes out a three-game home stand on Tuesday against the Brooklyn, the only time the Nets will play in New Orleans this season.