David West had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and the New Orleans Hornets held on to beat the Sacramento Kings 96-94 on Tuesday night.
Andres Nocioni had a chance to tied it when he rebounded Tyreke Evans' miss and was fouled with just over a second left. He missed his first free throw, then was forced to miss the second in hopes of a putback that never had a chance because of a Kings lane violation.
Hornets reserve Darius Songaila scored 11 points, none bigger than his inside basket with 12 seconds left that put New Orleans ahead for good. Chris Paul, in his second game back from a sprained left ankle, had 15 points and 12 assists. Emeka Okafor added 17 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans.
Evans led the Kings with 25 points. His free throws, followed by his soaring fast-break scoop off the glass, gave the Kings a 92-91 lead with 1:22 left.
West hit a short jumper off the glass to put New Orleans back up 93-92. After Evans' miss, West was fouled inside but made only one of two free throws, allowing Evans to tie it at 94 with a driving layup with 33 seconds left.
Jason Thompson scored 20 and had nine rebounds for Sacramento, hitting an array of tough inside shots and short floaters, but he fouled out on a charging call with 3:25 left and the Kings trailing 88-85.
Beno Udrih scored 13 for the Kings and Spencer Hawes had 12.
The Kings dominated the inside, where they outscored New Orleans 56-34. Sacramento also ran the floor better, finishing with a 22-8 advantage in fast-break points.
Sacramento also shot slightly better, 50.6 percent to 50 percent.
The Hornets pulled it out by outscoring the Kings 14-9 at the foul line and hitting eight 3-pointers. Peja Stojakovic was 4 of 5 from 3-point range and had 14 points.
Stojakovic hit three 3s in the first half, one of them giving the Hornets their largest lead at 29-17 late in the first quarter. Evans cut the Kings' deficit to 10 with a layup in the final seconds of the period, but paid for it. He was bumped by Okafor, though no foul was called, and crashed hard to the floor. He went to the locker room for the first five minutes of the second quarter, but returned to help the Kings pull to 35-34 on a driving layup as he was fouled.
Stojakovic's third 3 put New Orleans up 46-42 late in the first half, but the Kings scored the next six points on layups by Hawes, Ime Udoka and Udrih before Okafor's free throws tied it at 48 just before halftime.
NOTES: The Hornets have won six straight at home and are 8-2 on their home floor overall. ... The Hornets are 2-1 against the Kings this season with the home team winning each time. ... The Kings failed to score 100 points for the first time in 10 games. ... Kings rookie Omri Casspi went to the locker room with back pain shortly before tipoff and did not play.
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