Rough First Half Dooms Kings of Comeback in New Orleans


Jan 21, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Hornets power forward Anthony Davis (23) against the Sacramento Kings during the first quarter of a game at the New Orleans Arena. The Hornets defeated the Kings 114-105. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Behind Ryan Anderson’s 27 points, the Hornets beat the Kings amidst Sacramento’s relocation finalization.

First Quarter 

The Kings found themselves in a pretty deep hole early on. Everyone on the Hornets, with the exception of two players, scored in the first quarter. Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis each had seven points, while the Kings shot 35 percent, including an 0-of-4 shooting display from downtown.

The only real bright spot was DeMarcus Cousins’ six points, five rebounds and two assists. The troubled big man has been quiet lately in terms of off the court complications. Instead, his improved numbers have been doing the talking, as he’s averaging 23 points and 13 rebound over his last five games. He finished with 29 points and ten rebounds on 11-of-17 shooting against New Orleans.

The key stretch was an 11-2 run by the Hornets to close the quarter. It put them up by 11, and Sacramento ultimately played the comeback game for the final three quarters.

Second Quarter

Ryan Anderson, the sharp-shooting big man, scored 17 points in the quarter. He made six field goals total, but five were 3-pointers. A not-so-mobile Kings’ defense often lost Anderson on the perimeter, and he made them pay repeatedly. I’d say he’s the best “stretch four” in the NBA.

A 19-4 run that started with 6:16 remaining expanded the Kings lead to 24. Of those 19 points, Anderson had 12 of them and Anthony Davis had four.

The Kings took could care of the ball, turning the ball over just three times, as did the Hornets with two turnovers. But, it was the Anderson show. Also worth noting is the fact that the Hornets had 11 assists in the quarter, which equaled Sacramento’s rebounding total.

New Orleans entered halftime with the score largely in their favor (64-39).

Third Quarter

The Kings put a dent in the Hornets’ lead during the third quarter. They outscored them 37-23 thanks to 12 points from Cousins, nine from Tyreke Evans and seven from Isiah Thomas, who picked up four fouls as well.

Sacramento dominated New Orleans in the interior, scoring 22 points in the paint to the Hornets’ four. But the highlight of this 12 minutes of action was a 24-4 run that got the Kings within eight points. The Kings hit four 3-pointers during this stretch, while only answer with a pair of buckets.

The Kings would finish the third down just 11 (76-87), but they wouldn’t come much closer.

Fourth Quarter

This is where that brutal second quarter came back to bite the Kings. They again outscored the Hornets in the quarter (29-27), but the hole they dug themselves in early on prevented them from coming all the way back.

The Kings didn’t turn the ball over once in the fourth, while Anderson knocked in two more 3-pointers for good measure.

Realistically, it was a close quarter, but the overall scoreboard indicated otherwise, as the Hornets won easily, 114-105.