KINGS 99, HORNETS 98: John Salmons scored the winning basket with 6.8 seconds left to help host Sacramento end a four-game losing skid.
New Orleans was nursing a one-point lead when Kings rookie Isaiah Thomas stole the inbounds pass and fed the streaking Salmons for the decisive layup.
Hornets forward Trevor Ariza had a 15-foot turnaround jumper at the buzzer bounce off the front of the rim as New Orleans lost its third straight game and fell to 9-30.
Marcus Thornton tallied 25 points for the Kings, who were without ill center DeMarcus Cousins. Tyreke Evans scored 13 points with Salmons, Thomas and Jason Thompson scoring 12 points apiece.
Jarrett Jack scored 25 points, Ariza added 20 and Chris Kaman had 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Hornets.
Ariza hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:12 remaining, just 17 seconds after Thornton tied the score at 95-95 on a 3. Thornton’s next basket pulled Sacramento within one with 43.2 seconds left before Thomas made the key defensive play to help the Kings notch a dramatic victory.
Sacramento closed the first half with a 9-2 run to take a 58-54 halftime lead. New Orleans shot 57.1 percent in the opening 24 minutes.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Jack’s 20-point outing was his eighth of the season but first since Jan. 25. … Thornton is averaging 21.5 points in four games against New Orleans since being traded to Sacramento. … Kaman’s eight assists are a career-high. … The Kings had 13 steals, four by Thornton.