Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Warriors 98, Kings 94

By Associated Press, from Foxsports.com
Jason Richardson made his first victory in Sacramento a memorable one.

Richardson scored all 26 of his points in the second half, helping the struggling Golden State Warriors rally for a 98-94 victory over the Kings.

The Warriors snapped an 11-game losing streak at Arco Arena, winning for only the second time in 22 games dating back to April 9, 1998.

Richardson fueled the victory, hitting shot after shot in the second half when the Warriors outscored the Kings 62-48.

"I was aware of that (losing streak), but we haven't won in a lot of places," Richardson said. "It's huge for us. Sacramento has had our number the last couple of years."

The victory didn't come easy. The Kings scored seven straight points in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 91-88. Richardson responded with a long jumper and two free throws, putting Golden State ahead 95-89 with 22 seconds left.

Chris Webber made two 3-pointers in the final minute, the second one pulling the Kings to within 97-94 with 8.1 seconds left. Richardson made a free throw with 7.1 seconds and the Kings missed a 3-pointer as time expired.

"The difference in the whole game was Jason Richardson; it's that simple," said Webber, who led the Kings with 28 points.

Richardson made two jumpers and added a driving layup to open the fourth quarter as the Warriors went on a 14-3 run, taking their biggest lead at 89-73 with 4:54 remaining.

After a scoreless first half where he missed all six shots and both free throws, Richardson scored 15 points in the third quarter, helping the Warriors outscore the Kings 37-24 to take a 73-70 lead.

"He came out and shot the heck out of the ball in the second half," Speedy Claxton said. "He was huge for us."

Troy Murphy had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who are just 3-10 on the road. Cliff Robinson had 11 points. Claxton had 10 points and nine assists and Derek Fisher also had 10 points.

The Kings had a subpar 2-3 record in their five-game home stand, a rarity the past six years. It was the second straight loss for the Kings, who fell to Miami on Friday night.

"We got what we deserved, we didn't play with energy," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "We talked about it at halftime that we needed to come out strong in the third quarter. It cost us and they deserved to win and we didn't."

Peja Stojakovic had 18 points for the Kings, Mike Bibby had 14, while both Doug Christie and Maurice Evans had 13.

Stojakovic scored 11 points and Webber had 10 as the Kings took a 46-36 halftime lead. games with a sprained right knee, had 10 points in 20 minutes. The Kings have four days off before playing Friday at Utah. A forward throughout his 16 years in the league, Robinson has started the last 11 games at center, replacing ineffective Adonal Foyle. With standout reserve Bobby Jackson out with a wrist injury, Sacramento used just seven players.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

C-Webb Dashes Bucks from downtown

from NFL.com
Chris Webber made a 3-pointer that didn't count, then made one that did.

Seconds after sinking a practice shot, Webber sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sacramento Kings an 89-86 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Webber scored 23 points for the Kings, who rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and gave away a lead before improving to 8-0 against the Eastern Conference.

With the game tied, the Bucks used an extra foul to deny the Kings a shot. Webber ended up with the ball and fired a 3-pointer that went in. On the ensuing inbounds play, Webber took a pass and sank the game-winning 3-pointer before sprinting off the court.

"I wasn't prepared to shoot it," Webber said. "I was way out. But I'm thankful it went in. I looked at Mike (Bibby) on the back door and when I raised (the shot). I saw Brad (Miller) wide open waving his arms. But by then I had to shoot it."

"He took the first one and it didn't count," Kings forward Peja Stojakovic said. "It was a preview. It was an unbelievable shot, with a guy on him and the clock winding down. That's his spot."

The Bucks held an 85-81 lead before Stojakovic hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left and added a driving layup with nine seconds remaining to give the Kings an 86-85 edge. Bibby stole the ball from Michael Redd to set up Stojakovic's layup.

"We got a big steal with 15 seconds left that put us ahead and Chris hits a 3-pointer, just like I drew it up," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "We wanted to get Chris closer to the basket and we had some other options, but he didn't have the time. He got forced out further than we wanted. Fortunately for us, he made it."

Webber fouled Mike James, who sank 1-of-2 free throws with four seconds left, setting the stage for the Bucks to lose for the 12th time in 15 games.

A 3-pointer by James gave Milwaukee a 77-67 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Sacramento rallied with a 14-2 run, taking an 81-79 lead on Webber's hook with 2:46 left.

Doug Christie had all five of his points during the run and made a big save of a loose ball by diving headfirst into the stands.

"We had a 10-point lead that evaporated as quick as I have ever seen a 10-point lead evaporate," Milwaukee coach Terry Porter said. "We were there. We just have to make plays. Webber hits a 25-footer for them to win it. That is just the kind of luck we have been having right now."

"They played it the right way," Webber said of the final shot. "If I was them, I'd let me shoot it instead of Peja."

Bibby just missed a triple-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to help the Kings sweep the season series with their 14th win in 16 games.

"A win is a win," Bibby said. "We'll take them any way we can get them. We just kept fighting. If we keep fighting, we'll win games like this."

Desmond Mason led five Bucks in double figures with 23 points. Redd scored 20 points and James added 15 off the bench.

"We just have to finish games off, especially at home," Redd said. "Tonight, we had a huge lead that we squandered away. Sacramento made big plays down the stretch."

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Kings run past Celtics

from NBA.com
Peja Stojakovic and the Sacramento Kings played the first quarter as if they were sleepwalking. Then they woke up.

Stojakovic scored just two points in the opening quarter but 25 thereafter as the Kings rallied from a 20-point deficit to easily defeat the Boston Celtics, 119-105, for their 11th victory in 12 games.

Brad Miller added 22 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Webber 18 and 10 as the Kings beat Boston at home for the ninth straight meeting.

Boston, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, held a 38-18 lead after a layup by Marcus Banks opened the scoring in the second quarter.

"It was just a lack of effort," Miller said. "They made easy layups and dunks. They had 24 or 26 fast-break points in the first half, and that's basically how they were scoring. Our guys just weren't getting back."

"You can't just let them run over you," said Kings forward Darius Songaila, who scored 14 points off the bench. "At some point, the guys on the court as well as the guys on the bench just have to say, 'That's enough,' and start playing."

But Stojakovic scored eight points in the period to pull Sacramento within 63-55 at the break, then added 12 points in the third quarter to help the Kings open a 93-80 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes.

"I thought in the first half we moved the ball, we shared the ball, we did a great job playing together as a team," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "In the second half, I thought we each tried to win it by ourselves. The ball never moved."

"Once we started getting back and making play at half-court offense, things changed," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "On the offensive end, everything was one-on-one, everything was a pass and they weren't trying to force the issue. All we had to do was play and not force the offense."

Sacramento, which was outscored on the break, 40-15, led by as many as 26 points in the fourth quarter.

"We played well (in the first half)," said Celtics guard Gary Payton, who scored eight of his nine points in the first quarter. "Then the third quarter came and we stopped doing the things we do. We didn't share the ball. We didn't do what we did in the first half in the second half.

"(The Kings) started making shots, they started running, they did to us what we did to them in the first half and won the game."

Mike Bibby, who collected 15 points and 10 assists, scored eight straight points during Sacramento's 12-0 run early in the third quarter that turned a 69-65 deficit into a 77-69 lead. His jumper with 7:42 left in the period gave the Kings the lead for good, 71-69.

"We just have to share the ball," Bibby said. "When we play together, we're hard to stop."

Mark Blount scored 18 points and Raef LaFrentz chipped in 15 and 14 rebounds for Boston, which was opening a five-game Western swing. Paul Pierce added 16 points but, guarded mostly by Stojakovic, was blanked in the second half.

"It's the tale of two halves," Pierce said. "We just let our offense affect our defense, and that's how it's been all year."

Monday, November 29, 2004

Wolves Snap Kings’ Streak

from NBA.com

The clocks were off the last few minutes. Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett were not.

Cassell and Garnett combined to score 11 straight points down the stretch as the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped the Sacramento Kings' seven-game winning streak with a 121-110 victory at Arco Arena.

The two teams have had a penchant for tight games over the years, including several overtime affairs and an all-time 30-30 record coming into the game. The trend continued in this one.

Sacramento trailed by just 106-104 after Bobby Jackson made a layup and free throw with 2:52 remaining. But the clocks stopped working, causing a delay of about five minutes, and eventually were turned off.

"The referees did a good job letting us know how much time was left," Cassell said. "We made some shots and executed our offense."

"Technical difficulties are out of everybody's hands, including the guys running the clock," Garnett added. "It's part of (the game)."

When play resumed, Jackson and Garnett nailed back-to-back jumpers, Jackson a 3-pointer and two free throws and Garnett a pair from the line to open a 115-104 cushion with 1:08 left.

"They hit some tough shots (after the clock malfunction), especially Sam Cassell," Kings guard Mike Bibby said. "We contested them but they were still going in."

Garnett collected 28 points and 16 rebounds, Cassell scored 25 points and reserve Eddie Griffin 20 for Minnesota, which was meeting Sacramento for the first time since winning their Western Conference semifinal series in seven games last season.

"Sam understands everything starts (with him)," Garnett said. "He and I were just sharing, making sure everybody got a touch. Tonight it was a collective win from everybody."

The oft-troubled Griffin, acquired prior to the start of the season, contributed made a season-high four 3-pointers as the Kings dared him to make shots.

"I feel comfortable shooting the three, stretching the defense," said Griffin, who shot 4-of-5 from the arc and 7-of-15 overall. "That's what they expect out of me."

Garnett welcomed the new offensive threat.

"Eddie's not your typical big man. He can shoot the three very well, he's unselfish," Garnett commented. "He's definitely made our team better, more versatile."

The Kings, who lost for the first time in seven games at Arco Arena this season, have lost four straight regular-season games to the Timberwolves, including three here.

Sacramento was in danger of being blown out in the first half after Minnesota's Fred Hoiberg nailed a long three to make it 41-31 with 10:34 left in the second quarter. But the Kings would ride the hot shooting of Bibby and Peja Stojakovic to pull within 61-60 at intermission, shooting 57 percent in the half.

Chris Webber contributed 25 points and 10 rebounds and Bibby and Stojakovic 22 points apiece for Sacramento.

Minnesota tied a season high for points in a quarter with 36 in the fourth and was a blistering 60 percent (9-of-15) from the arc.

"You give up 36 points in the last quarter, you're not going to win very many games," Kings Coach Rick Adelman said.

Timberwolves center Michael Olowokandi played 16 minutes, collecting four points, in his return to action following a team imposed two-game suspension after being arrested at an Indianapolis nightclub last week.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Miller’s Late Shot Carries Kings

from NBA.com

Brad Miller hit a 20-foot jumper with 25 seconds remaining to give the Sacramento Kings their first road win of the season, a 113-111 triumph over the Phoenix Suns.

Sacramento held a 100-87 lead with eight minutes left before Steve Nash sparked a comeback by Phoenix. He sank consecutive baskets to bring the Suns within 110-109 with 44 seconds left.

Miller's bucket gave the Kings a 112-109 edge. After a pair of free throws by Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire, Doug Christie missed 1-of-2 from the foul line, giving Phoenix one last opportunity to win.

The Suns did not call their last timeout and raced upcourt, only to have Shawn Marion miss a leaner in the lane and Joe Johnson miss an open 13-footer.

"I had some good looks. It just wasn't going in," Marion said. "It just happens like that sometimes. They don't always go in."

Chris Webber had a season-high 28 points and 10 rebounds, Peja Stojakovic scored a season-high 23 points and Mike Bibby added 20 for the Kings, who had lost their first four road games.

"Its really big because we have about 12 days at home," Webber said "I think we have an unfair record, But everyone could say that. We opened three arenas - Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. So it's good for us to get a road win."

"They are a really tough team to guard," Kings coach Rick Adelman said "But we played so much better offensively tonight than we have been. They made their run like teams at home are going to make runs at you."

There were 19 lead changes before the Kings went on a 10-0 run to open a 94-82 lead with 10:41 remaining.

"The difference compared to our previous games was patience and energy for all 48 minutes," Stojakovic said. "We know we'd have to accomplish that against this team, running the floor, taking care of the transition defense."

Stoudemire and Nash scored 29 points apiece and Marion added 14 and 15 rebounds for the Suns, who have lost two in a row following a 4-0 start. Phoenix has lost 12 of its last 17 meetings with Sacramento.

"We made a lot of good decisions and plays down the stretch offensively to get back in the game," Nash said. "We lost to a good team. They made us pay offensively and we certainly didn't get many bounces, either."

Monday, October 25, 2004

Sacramento Releases Liu, Two More

From ESPN.com, by the Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Liu Wei, a starting guard for the Chinese national team, was among three players released by the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

Liu joined the Kings shortly before their tour of Beijing and Shanghai with the Houston Rockets earlier in the month. He is a star with the Shanghai Sharks, Yao Ming's former club team in China.

The Kings also released center Anwar Ferguson and guard Tony Bland. They have 16 players left on their roster.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

2004-2004 Kings Schedule

October Opponent
10 Sun Golden State Preseason
14 Thu @ Houston Preseason
17 Sun Houston Preseason
19 Tue @ L.A. Lakers Preseason
22 Fri @ Utah Preseason
23 Sat New Orleans Preseason
28 Thu @ Dallas Preseason
29 Fri Phoenix Preseason
November Opponent
2 Tue @ Dallas
3 Wed @ San Antonio
6 Sat @ Houston
9 Tue Toronto
10 Wed @ Seattle
13 Sat @ Phoenix
14 Sun Denver
16 Tue Chicago
19 Fri Memphis
21 Sun Milwaukee
23 Tue Houston
26 Fri @ L.A. Lakers
28 Sun Minnesota
30 Tue @ Memphis
December Opponent
1 Wed @ New Orleans
3 Fri Indiana
5 Sun Boston
7 Tue Charlotte
10 Fri @ Minnesota
11 Sat @ Indiana
14 Tue @ Milwaukee
16 Thu L.A. Lakers
19 Sun New Orleans
21 Tue Washington
23 Thu Miami
26 Sun Golden State
31 Fri @ Utah
January Opponent
2 Sun San Antonio
4 Tue @ New York
5 Wed @ Toronto
7 Fri @ Atlanta
8 Sat @ New Orleans
11 Tue Denver
13 Thu Utah
15 Sat L.A. Clippers
17 Mon @ L.A. Clippers
18 Tue Portland
20 Thu Cleveland
23 Sun San Antonio
25 Tue New Jersey
27 Thu @ San Antonio
28 Fri @ Houston
30 Sun @ Minnesota
February Opponent
1 Tue Seattle
2 Wed @ Golden State
4 Fri New York
5 Sat @ Portland
8 Tue Phoenix
10 Thu @ Seattle
11 Fri Dallas
13 Sun @ Boston
15 Tue @ Chicago
16 Wed @ New Jersey
22 Tue Atlanta
24 Thu @ Dallas
26 Sat @ Philadelphia
27 Sun @ Washington
March Opponent
1 Tue @ Charlotte
2 Wed @ Orlando
4 Fri @ Miami
6 Sun Detroit
8 Tue Memphis
11 Fri L.A. Clippers
13 Sun Houston
15 Tue Orlando
17 Thu @ Golden State
19 Sat @ L.A. Clippers
20 Sun Golden State
22 Tue Portland
24 Thu Dallas
26 Sat @ Denver
28 Mon Philadelphia
30 Wed @ Detroit
April Opponent
1 Fri @ Cleveland
3 Sun Minnesota
5 Tue Seattle
8 Fri @ Portland
10 Sun L.A. Lakers
15 Fri @ L.A. Lakers
16 Sat @ Phoenix
18 Mon @ Utah
20 Wed Phoenix