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."