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Paul's return lifts Hornets over Kings

Mar 13, 2011 - 7:28 AM New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Chris Paul scored a season-high 33 points to go with 15 assists and seven rebounds in his return to the lineup, as the New Orleans Hornets used a big fourth quarter to down the Sacramento Kings, 115-103.

Paul had missed the last two games with a concussion for the Hornets, who have won four of five. David West donated 25 points and nine boards.

Carl Landry tallied 20 points off the bench for New Orleans, which took three of four from Sacramento this season. Marco Belinelli chipped in 12 points.

"I was just so excited to get back out here," Paul said. "This is a tough stretch we have coming up and each home game, we really have to take seriously."

Marcus Thornton finished with 25 points and three steals against his former team, but the Kings dropped their sixth straight game. DeMarcus Cousins recorded 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Samuel Dalembert ended with 16 points and eight boards for Sacramento, which has lost five straight on the road. Francisco Garcia added 12 points in defeat.

New Orleans entered the fourth quarter down by one, 85-84, but started the period on a 23-5 run to pull away. Paul tallied nine points during the burst, which Emeka Okafor capped with a three-point play for a 107-90 lead with 4:16 remaining.

West made a running jumper a few minutes later to make it 113-95, and it was a double-digit game the rest of the way.

"Well from our standpoint I think we just ran out of gas and couldn't execute when we needed to in the fourth quarter, and obviously we couldn't stop Chris Paul and David West," Kings head coach Paul Westphal said. "That's pretty much the game in a nut shell."

The Hornets ripped off five straight points late in the first quarter to grab a 29-22 lead on Landry's slam with 38 seconds left. New Orleans held a 31-24 margin after 12 minutes.

Sacramento outscored the Hornets, 33-26, in the second stanza to make it 57-57 at the half.

Neither team led by more than five in the third quarter.

Game Notes

Sacramento has lost five straight and 11 of 12 trips to New Orleans...The Kings fell to 7-24 on the road this season...The Hornets outscored Sacramento, 31-18, in the fourth...New Orleans went 28-of-34 from the foul line.