NEW ORLEANS LA - DECEMBER 15: Tyreke Evans #13 of the Sacramento Kings passes the ball over Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on December 15 2010 in New Orleans Louisiana. The Hornets defeated the Kings 94-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Good news: Tyreke Evans started, had a wonderful first half, and the Sacramento Kings started strong and rung up a 23-point lead over the New Orleans Hornets a few minutes into the third quarter. Huzzah!
Bad news: a 23-point lead was not enough.
In the final 20 minutes of the game, the Hornets outscored the Kings 49-23 and beat Sacramento by three. The Kings had 10 turnovers in those final 20 minutes of play, including four by DeMarcus Cousins. Those four by the rookie included three traveling calls in the fourth quarter.
Good news: DeMarcus Cousins was in the game in the fourth quarter, and had played well enough to demand the ball on offense.
Bad news: those turnovers arguably cost the Kings the game. The Hornets' comeback wasn't swift and fatal. It was a slow burn; New Orleans didn't take a lead until there were three minutes left, despite pulling to within three points all the way back with 9+ minutes remaining. The Kings held off the Hornets for a long, long time. Until those turnovers did them in.
Cousins ended up with 13 points on 6-9 shooting to go with five turnovers, seven rebounds and two assists. Evans was stymied by a smothering New Orleans defense throughout the second half, and finished with 22 points on 9-18 shooting. He also had seven assists and four turnovers.
Carl Landry was again solid off the bench, scoring 13 points and grabbing six rebounds in 21 minutes. The Kings next play in Oklahoma City on Friday.