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Howard, Walker help Hornets pull away and beat Kings 131-111

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Dwight Howard lost control of the ball on his way in for an apparent dunk when he was fouled from behind by Zach Randolph. As Howard tried to regain his footing, the ball floated about 3 feet above the rim and then fell straight back down and through.

''I don't know how it went in,'' Howard said with a grin.

On a night when Charlotte set season highs in several offensive categories, Howard's play was symptomatic of just how good things were going for the struggling Hornets.

Howard had 20 points and eight rebounds, Kemba Walker added 12 points and 10 assists, and Charlotte built a big early lead in beating the Sacramento Kings 131-111 on Tuesday.

Nicolas Batum scored 21 points, Jeremy Lamb added 16, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams had 10 points apiece to help the Hornets to their third consecutive victory in Sacramento.

''To score the way we did, really just did a lot of good things offensively,'' Hornets interim coach Stephen Silas said. ''We need to carry that over because our offense has not been very good up until this point, up until this trip. But things are starting to click a little bit and it's good.''

Charlotte came in as one of the NBA's worst 3-point shooting teams but repeatedly got open looks from beyond the arc, especially in the first half when the Hornets made 10 of their season high-tying 15 3s. Lamb and Batum hit three apiece to pace the outside shooting.

Four days after stunning Golden State to begin their four-game trip, the Hornets set season highs in scoring and for points scored in the first half (72). Charlotte's previous high was 129 points in an overtime win over Washington on Nov. 22.

''It was pretty good,'' Howard said. ''I still think our defense could have been a lot better. We gave up too many points in the paint. One-on-one defense, especially for the bigs, could have been a lot better. We're going to take the positives but there are some things we still have to improve on.''

Zach Randolph had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento. Skal Labissiere added 17 points and a career-best 15 rebounds for the Kings, who have lost five of six.

''Teams are definitely confident that they can come here and shoot well,'' Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said. ''It's just what it is until it's not.''

Charlotte led 32-25 but didn't pull away until an 18-4 run midway through the second. Four different Hornets made 3-pointers, and Howard had a dunk and short hook on consecutive possessions.

Walker added a three-point play and Williams had a 3-pointer as part of another run for Charlotte, and Batum's short jumper put the Hornets up 72-52.

Sacramento made a brief surge in the third to pull to 76-65, but Kidd-Gilchrist scored eight points over the next 2 1/2 minutes to extend Charlotte's lead to 88-71.

PICK-AND-ROLL PERFECTION

Most of Charlotte's open 3-pointers came as a result of the Hornets' pick-and-roll offense that was basically unstoppable. ''It was more of our ball movement,'' Silas said. ''We stayed in the pick-and-roll basically the whole game, as much as we could. And we were making the extra pass and getting those open 3s.''

TIP-INS

Hornets: Charlotte was 26th in 3-point shooting going into the game but went 15 of 32 from beyond the arc. The 10 3s in the first half were one more than the Hornets were averaging over a full game.

Kings: Sacramento trailed at the break despite shooting above 60 percent for most of the first half. ... De'Aaron Fox scored 17 points in his return after missing eight games with a right quadriceps tear sustained against Minnesota on Dec. 14. The fifth overall pick in the draft, Fox shot 5 of 12 and had four assists. ... Frank Mason bruised his left heel Sunday against Memphis and will be re-evaluated in a week.

UP NEXT

Hornets: Play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday night.

Kings: Host the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.

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Key Players
K. Walker
15 PG
Z. Randolph
50 PF
25.5 Min. Per Game 25.5
15.1 Pts. Per Game 15.1
2.2 Ast. Per Game 2.2
6.8 Reb. Per Game 6.8
41.9 Field Goal % 50.7
41.9 Three Point % 49.9
84.1 Free Throw % 77.3
  Defensive rebound by Dwayne Bacon 0:12
  Skal Labissiere missed jump shot 0:16
+ 3 Malik Monk made 3-pt. jump shot 0:37
  Defensive rebound by Treveon Graham 0:44
  De'Aaron Fox missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:50
+ 1 De'Aaron Fox made 1st of 2 free throws 0:50
  Shooting foul on Julyan Stone 0:50
  Offensive rebound by Johnny O'Bryant 1:10
+ 2 Johnny O'Bryant made dunk 1:10
  Dwayne Bacon missed jump shot 1:10
+ 2 Giorgios Papagiannis made jump shot, assist by Justin Jackson 1:22
Team Stats
Points 131 111
Field Goals 51-89 (57.3%) 45-87 (51.7%)
3-Pointers 15-32 (46.9%) 7-17 (41.2%)
Free Throws 14-18 (77.8%) 14-18 (77.8%)
Total Rebounds 35 53
Offensive 5 16
Defensive 25 31
Team 5 6
Assists 25 22
Steals 7 1
Blocks 3 2
Turnovers 3 15
Fouls 14 19
Technicals 0 0
12 PTS, 4 REB, 10 AST
24 PTS, 10 REB
1234T
away team logo Hornets 14-23 32402831131
home team logo Kings 12-25 25272930111
Team Stats
away team logo Hornets 14-23 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Kings 12-25 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
N. Batum SF 11.6 PPG 4.8 RPG 5.5 APG 41.5 FG%
Z. Randolph PF 14.5 PPG 6.7 RPG 2.2 APG 47.3 FG%
Top Scorers
N. Batum SF 21 PTS 4 REB 4 AST
Z. Randolph PF 24 PTS 10 REB 0 AST
57.3 FG% 51.7
46.9 3PT FG% 41.2
77.8 FT% 77.8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
N. Batum 30 21 4 4 0 0 1 1 8/12 3/5 2/3 0 4 32 +22
D. Howard 29 20 8 0 1 1 0 3 9/13 0/0 2/5 2 6 30 +17
K. Walker 29 12 4 10 2 0 0 1 4/11 1/5 3/3 1 3 38 +29
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 20 10 3 1 0 0 0 1 5/7 0/0 0/0 1 2 15 +13
M. Williams 19 10 1 0 0 1 0 0 3/5 2/3 2/2 0 1 12 +10
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
N. Batum 30 21 4 4 0 0 1 1 8/12 3/5 2/3 0 4 32 +22
D. Howard 29 20 8 0 1 1 0 3 9/13 0/0 2/5 2 6 30 +17
K. Walker 29 12 4 10 2 0 0 1 4/11 1/5 3/3 1 3 38 +29
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 20 10 3 1 0 0 0 1 5/7 0/0 0/0 1 2 15 +13
M. Williams 19 10 1 0 0 1 0 0 3/5 2/3 2/2 0 1 12 +10
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Lamb 23 16 1 5 3 0 0 1 6/11 3/5 1/1 0 1 30 +9
J. O'Bryant 18 16 2 1 0 0 0 1 7/9 2/4 0/0 1 1 20 +3
F. Kaminsky 24 12 1 3 0 0 2 1 4/8 2/3 2/2 0 1 17 +12
T. Graham 16 7 2 0 1 0 0 2 3/6 1/3 0/0 0 2 10 -2
M. Carter-Williams 16 4 3 1 0 1 0 2 1/2 0/1 2/2 0 3 10 -11
M. Monk 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/3 1/3 0/0 0 0 3 -2
J. Stone 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 +2
D. Bacon 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 1 1 -2
M. Paige - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Mathiang - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Zeller - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 131 30 25 7 3 3 14 51/89 15/32 14/18 5 25 218 +100
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
Z. Randolph 25 24 10 0 0 0 1 2 11/18 0/3 2/2 4 6 33 -12
S. Labissiere 28 17 15 0 0 0 2 2 7/14 0/0 3/3 7 8 30 -17
D. Fox 32 17 3 4 1 0 3 2 5/12 1/4 6/8 1 2 26 -19
G. Hill 28 11 1 2 0 1 4 2 4/7 3/3 0/0 0 1 13 -1
G. Temple 22 5 0 4 0 0 0 2 2/5 1/2 0/0 0 0 13 -10
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
Z. Randolph 25 24 10 0 0 0 1 2 11/18 0/3 2/2 4 6 33 -12
S. Labissiere 28 17 15 0 0 0 2 2 7/14 0/0 3/3 7 8 30 -17
D. Fox 32 17 3 4 1 0 3 2 5/12 1/4 6/8 1 2 26 -19
G. Hill 28 11 1 2 0 1 4 2 4/7 3/3 0/0 0 1 13 -1
G. Temple 22 5 0 4 0 0 0 2 2/5 1/2 0/0 0 0 13 -10
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Bogdanovic 23 11 2 5 0 0 2 5 5/8 0/2 1/1 0 2 21 -11
K. Koufos 13 10 2 0 0 0 0 0 5/6 0/0 0/0 1 1 12 +2
W. Cauley-Stein 22 8 8 4 0 1 2 1 3/7 0/0 2/4 2 6 23 -12
B. Hield 24 6 2 2 0 0 1 3 2/4 2/3 0/0 0 2 11 -19
G. Papagiannis 6 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 0 1 3 -1
M. Richardson 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 1 2 0
J. Jackson 6 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 1 3 0
V. Carter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Mason III - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Cooley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Sampson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Giles - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 111 47 22 1 2 15 19 45/87 7/17 14/18 16 31 190 -100