105 - 96 Final
  for this game

Salmons scores 29 as Kings squash Hornets

Nov 20, 2008 - 5:18 AM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- John Salmons led the way with 29 points and rookie Donte Greene had his best day as a professional to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 105-96 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday.

Beno Udrih and Brad Miller added 14 points apiece for the Kings, who shot 55 percent (41-of-75) in snapping a three-game slide.

Salmons and Bobby Jackson scored eight points apiece as Sacramento used a 28-12 run over the final 7:56 of the game to surge to the lead and cruise to the win.

"That's how I play," Jackson said. "I've done it all my career. I don't mind taking the big shots. I like that pressure. If you give me the ball, everybody knows I'm going to shoot it."

"(Salmons') been solid; he's been stable the whole time," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "It wasn't so much the number of points he scored tonight. I thought that he just moved the basketball a lot better and got the ball to the open guys. When we needed baskets, he was there also. I thought he carried us in the first half."

The Hornets looked poised to run away when they opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run but hit just 5-of-15 shots the rest of the way.

"There is something in sports and life in general, and that's character," Theus said. "Our guys showed great character tonight. This was a tough road trip playing against two teams that had three days off.

"We played horrible (at Memphis on Tuesday), and we came back (Wednesday) and played with a lot of heart, a lot of pride. To hold this team to 41 points in the second half is an enormous feat."

After Julian Wright's jumper made it 84-77 with 8:38 left, New Orleans made numerous errors over the next five minutes to help Sacramento assume the lead.

The Hornets missed five shots, committed four fouls, turned the ball over three times and were called for a technical foul over that span.

"I think we need to play harder," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "That's the bottom line. I don't think we competed at the level that we have to compete at to play in this league. Like I said to them, each guy needs to go home tonight and look in that mirror and ask themselves, 'Am I playing as hard as I can play?'

"It starts with the individual and goes on to the team. We are not playing 110 percent. We are not playing like it's the last quarter of the last game. We are not playing with that sense of urgency. Like I told them, I don't know what we are waiting on. If we wait 10 or 15 more games, we are going be out of this conference."

The Kings, in contrast, hit 7-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line in the 19-4 run.

Greene, who was making his first career start, kept Sacramento in the game early, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the first half on 4-of-6 shooting - including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.

"Donte Green did a very good job coming in and starting tonight," Theus said. "That was just a personnel decision on my part, and I thought the rookie came through with flying colors."

Chris Paul finished with 20 points, 15 assists and four steals and David West had 22 points for the Hornets, who fell for the third time in the last four games.

"This is a bad loss for us," West said. "We definitely have taken steps back as a team. We're going to have to come together and make a push because right now teams are just walking over us.

"This is another game where I feel like (we're) at home (and) have a few days rest. We're not supposed to lose this game. They made some tough shots. We didn't defend. They were basically running the same two plays down the stretch, and we couldn't figure it out. Bobby hit some big shots out of that corner. We just couldn't keep pace with them."