Short-Handed Kings Beat Hornets

Loss puts New Orleans' hopes for top seed in peril
By Mitch Pritchard,  Newser User
Posted Apr 13, 2008 9:33 AM CDT
New Orleans Hornets forward David West, right, has the ball tapped away by Sacramento Kings' Ron Artest, left, last night. The Kings won 94-91.    (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)
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(Newser) – Ron Artest returned from a thumb injury to hit four clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and the Sacramento Kings dealt a big blow to New Orleans' hopes for the top seed in the Western Conference with a 94-91 victory. The loss dropped the Hornets (55-25) into a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the top spot in the West with only two games remaining.

The Lakers control the tiebreaker with New Orleans based on a better conference record. By losing back-to-back games to the Lakers and Kings, the Hornets are also in trouble in the Southwest Division. They lead San Antonio and Houston by only a half-game, meaning they could go from fighting for home-court throughout the Western Conference playoffs to opening on the road when the postseason begins next weekend.