"We've got to come out there ready to play," said Cousins, who was held to 8 points in the first half. "Giving them that (big) lead, that put us behind, and we were playing catch-up the rest of the game. If we came out early with energy we probably wouldn't have been in that situation."
The Hornets led by 27 midway through the quarter, but with Davis out the Kings were able to cut the deficit to single digits on several occasions in the second half, including seven in the third and fourth quarters.
"We didn't like the sloppy play in the second half but I'm not going to dwell on that," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "The good thing is our guys felt badly about it and that is something that shows character, but at the same time you don't want to see it, giving up a 37-point quarter (the most the Hornets have allowed in the third quarter) and a 29-point quarter after the way the defense played in the first half."
Sacramento took an early 8-4 lead but during the next nine minutes was 4 of 19 from the field. The Hornets closed the first quarter on a 19-10 run to take a 30-18 lead.
Robin Lopez's three-point play on an offensive rebound gave the Hornets their first lead at 11-8 with 7:54 to play in the quarter, a lead they would not relinquish.
"I was proud of the way the guys came back in the third quarter," Hornets coach Keith Smart said. "It would have been easy for them to pack it in, but they came out and made a game of it."
NOTES: Vasquez had 11 assists to along with his 19 points, recording his 14th double-double of the season. . .The Hornets shot 48.3 percent from the field, marking the fifth time in the past seven games they have shot at least 48 percent from the field. . .Cousins had his 19th double-double of the season.