Hornets Top Kings for Another "Home" Win
New Orleans/Oklahoma City 90, Sacramento 76
NORMAN, Okla., Jan. 13 (Ticker) -- The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets have found another building in the Sooner State to call home.
David West scored 19 points and Rasual Butler added a season-high 16 off the bench as the Hornets posted a 90-76 victory over the Sacramento Kings in a game played on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.
"It was great. It was a lot like home at the Ford Center," Hornets coach Byron Scott said of the atmosphere in their third different home arena this season. "When we had our little lulls, they were loud and got us back into it."
The Hornets took control early, outscoring the Kings, 26-14, in the second quarter to open a 54-39 lead at the half. They closed the third quarter with an 8-0 run to push the lead to 71-53.
"Our biggest thing tonight was help defense," West said. "We stayed active on the defensive end and we were able to turn it into big things. We couldn't afford to come in and have an emotional letdown, especially since they had three of their guys out."
The Kings, who finished with one win on their three-game road trip, were unable to threaten in the final quarter despite the Hornets making just six baskets. However, four were 3-pointers as the Hornets gave the 11,343 fans - about 300 shy of a sellout - something to cheer about.
"We struggled playing the game tonight," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "We didn't pass the ball well, we turned the ball over, you can't win like that. We shot the ball poorly, and our decision-making was bad."
Butler was 4-of-4 from the arc, sinking two in a 16-4 run early in the fourth quarter that made it 79-57.
"He's playing really well," Scott said. "He's in a groove right now and is playing more comfortable. I told him with the way he's shooting the ball, I need to find ways to get him the ball more."
Butler, who normally checks into the game at the beginning of the second quarter, was called on by Scott to enter the game midway through the first quarter.
"I was a little surprised," Butler said. "But I understand my role on this team. I extend the defense and allow guys like David West room to operate down low and Chris Paul and Speedy Claxton to penetrate. When they get you open looks, it's up to me to knock shots down, and tonight I hit them."
Brad Miller scored 18 points and rookie Francisco Garcia added 17 for the Kings, who were without Peja Stojakovic, who missed the game with a protruding disk in his back.