NO/Oklahoma City 84, Sacramento 81

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- In his seven seasons with the

Sacramento Kings, Peja Stojakovic couldn't shake his reputation as

a player unable to make the big shot.

But it was Stojakovic, now in a New Orleans Hornets jersey, who

made the clutch basket that led his current team to an 84-81

victory over the Kings on Tuesday night.

Stojakovic gave the Hornets an 82-81 lead on a fall-away shot

from near the free throw line with 25.4 seconds left. The game was

his first back in Sacramento since being traded for Ron Artest last


"It was a little weird playing against the Kings after being

here for seven seasons. But life goes on," said Stojakovic, who

helped rally the Hornets from a nine-point deficit in the game's

closing minutes.

Struggling in the preseason and entering the game shooting 35

percent, Stojakovic finished with eight points on 3-for-11


Despite the slow start, teammate Bobby Jackson, another ex-King,

had confidence Stojakovic could deliver late in the game. "I would

rather have him take that shot than anyone," Jackson said.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim had a chance to give the Kings the lead, but

missed a baseline drive with 1.1 seconds left. Jannero Pargo made

two free throws with one-tenth of a second left as the Hornets

(2-5) snapped a five-game losing streak.

Chris Paul had a fabulous overall performance for the Hornets,

with 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Kevin Martin led

Sacramento (4-2) with 21 points.

Ron Artest added 19 points for the Kings, and Abdur-Rahim had


Desmond Mason scored 17 and Jackson had 13 for the Hornets, who

rallied from an 81-72 deficit when the Kings went scoreless over

the final 5:49.

The Kings had 27 turnovers, including eight in the fourth

quarter, when they were outscored 19-3.

"It's a preseason game, you have to put it behind us," Kings

guard Ronnie Price said.

Sacramento was without starters Mike Bibby and Brad Miller.

Bibby injured his thumb in Sunday nights victory in Reno against

the Hornets and is expected to miss the first two weeks of the

regular season. Miller watched the game in street clothes nursing

an injured finger.