The game would come down to a last second three-pointer by Rasual Butler, giving the Hornets a 111-110 win.
New Orleans came into the game battling for playoff position in the tight Western Conference standings.
David West led the Hornets with 40 points. Chris Paul added 15 points and 15 assists.
Andres Nocioni had 23 points—but for the Kings, the story was at halftime, when they retired the jersey of Vlade Divac in an elaborate ceremony featuring former players.