SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Tyreke Evans had 27 points and Marcus Thornton scored 25 for the Sacramento Kings in a 96-80 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night.Playing without DeMarcus Cousins, who demanded a trade prior to the game and was told by coach Paul Westphal to stay home, the Kings ended a three game skid. Cousins was among several players who expressed frustration with the team's poor play after a 114-92 loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday.Asked during halftime Sunday if Cousins would be traded, Kings vice president of basketball operations said he would talk to the brooding center on Monday."He has to grow up," Petrie said.
Trevor Ariza had 17 points for the Hornets, who have dropped two straight after opening the season with a pair of victories. Chris Kaman contributed 14 points and 15 rebounds, Emeka Okafor had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Carl Landry had 12 points.Evans shot 9 of 18 from the field, made 7-of-8 free throws and added four rebounds and three assists. John Salmons added 13 points for the Kings, who outscored the Hornets 58-40 in the second half.Evans provided a huge lift in the third quarter to help put the Kings ahead and also delivered in the fourth. With the shot clock running down, Evans made a 28-foot 3-pointer then followed with a dunk off a fast-break, putting Sacramento ahead 90-72 with 3:42 remaining.Hornets standout guard Eric Gordon missed his third straight game. Gordon bruised his knee in the season opener and is still listed as day to day while the Hornets try to be cautious with him.Struggling on offense in the opening half when they shot 30 percent, the Kings got going in the third quarter behind Evans. The Kings point guard was penetrating inside for baskets and also made several perimeter shots in scoring 13 points.Evans received plenty of help from Salmons, who made a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points as the Kings outscored New Orleans 30-18 to assume a 68-58 lead heading into the fourth.NOTES: Kings veteran Francisco Garcia made his first appearance of the season, starting the second quarter. He also opened the fourth quarter and hit a pair of 3-pointers to extend the Kings lead. Ariza scored 10 points to help the Hornets take a 40-38 lead into halftime. Thornton scored 11 points for the Kings. Thornton was acquired by the Kings from New Orleans last year in February for forward Carl Landry. The Hornets outrebounded the Kings 60-41.