I read somebody today that said NOK would be lucky to win 10 games. And just after Reggie and Charles were singing Sactown's praises on the tip-off show. Yes, it was only one game, but the Kings looked brutal. Adelman really should have quit after they acquired Bonzi.
Hornets rout Kings in first game in Oklahoma City
OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- The displaced New Orleans Hornets looked pretty comfortable in their new home.
P.J. Brown scored 20 points and J.R. Smith added 19 as the Hornets opened the season with a resounding 93-67 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Hornets will play 35 of their 41 games at the Ford Center, with the other six in Baton Rouge.
The first regular season game played in Oklahoma City was preceded by a lengthy ceremony that included an introduction speech from Mayor Mick Cornett and Hornets owner George Shinn.
Former King Wayman Tisdale, who played collegiately at Oklahoma, performed the national anthem and the crowd remained on its feet until the Hornets made their first basket, a layup by Brown three minutes into the game.
The fans had plenty of reason to cheer for the remainder of the contest. After a back-and-forth opening quarter, Brown scored eight points in a 16-2 run that gave the Hornets a 38-27 advantage with 3:20 left in the first half. The Kings shot just 26 percent (5-of-19) in the second period, which ended with the Hornets holding a 44-33 lead.
Sacramento's Peja Stojakovic opened the third period with a 3-pointer before Smith took over in a 14-2 spurt that broke open the game. He made a jumper and a 3-pointer around a dunk by Sacramento's Shareef Abdur-Rahim before rookie Chris Paul hit a layup to make it 51-38 with 9:18 left.
Smith then scored seven straight points, capping the burst with a steal and dunk at the 7:28 mark that made it 58-38. The Kings got no closer than 16 points thereafter.
Stojakovic scored 18 points and Abdur-Rahim contributed 14 and eight rebounds for Sacramento, which forced 21 turnovers but managed only five fast-break points.