Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 3/8

Game 1: Friday, March 8th
Game 2: Friday, March 29th

Hornets 87

(29-32, 17-14 away)

Kings 99

(43-17, 30-3 home)

    Coverage: FSBAY

    7:00 PM ET, March 8, 2002

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHA 25 18 21 2387
    SAC 31 17 22 2999

    Top Performers

    Charlotte: L. Nailon 18 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Sacramento: P. Stojakovic 24 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast

    Kings' defensive efforts ends with scuffle, win

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- When Jamaal Magloire finally had enough, he simply threw Vlade Divac to the floor with the force equal to the Charlotte Hornets' frustrations.

    Peja Stojakovic scored 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, and Chris Webber had 20 points Friday night as Sacramento held off the Hornets 99-87 for a victory that showcased the Kings' grittier side.

    "It's great to get a win like this, because even though we've been struggling, we did the defensive job to win," Webber said. "All of us are just looking for our swagger. We need to get it back."

    Before Stojakovic took over late, Divac led the way for Sacramento with 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. But Divac and Magloire were thrown out with 27.3 seconds to play for a wrestling match following a free throw.

    "I was just boxing out, and I grabbed him, and he pushed me down," Divac said with a slight grin. "I don't know why they ejected us. It was just an accidental kind of thing."

    Divac's tenacity mirrored Sacramento's approach to a meeting with one of the NBA's best road teams. After three days of practice following a loss to Portland on Monday, the Kings still weren't moving the ball well, but they prevented Charlotte from finding any rhythm, either.

    The Kings, the only team yet to lose three straight this season, snapped a two-game losing streak for the fifth time. They did it despite another stagnant offensive performance, instead relying on defense, rebounding and agitation.

    Sacramento, the NBA's best home team, improved to 29-3 at Arco Arena. Lee Nailon had 18 points for Charlotte, which lost its third straight.

    "It's time for us to start winning these big ballgames," said Baron Davis, who had 15 points and seven assists, but just one basket in the fourth. "We haven't done that all year. We just didn't execute and get a bucket in the fourth quarter when we needed it."

    Sacramento next leaves on a five-game road trip beginning Sunday in Milwaukee. With 14 of their final 22 games on the road, the Kings' hold on the NBA's best record appears tenuous.

    Sacramento (43-17) leads the Lakers (42-18) by one game atop the Pacific Division. The Kings also are a half-game ahead of Dallas (43-18) for the NBA's best record.

    "The worst thing we could do is watch the scoreboard," Webber said. "As long as we get our game back, we'll be fine."

    After Charlotte closed to 82-79 on David Wesley's 3-pointer with 5:13 to play, Sacramento made a 10-2 run in the next four minutes. The rally included back-to-back jump hooks from Webber, who had yet another poor shooting game, but scored when it mattered most.

    Stojakovic capped Sacramento's fourth-quarter stand with a dramatic 3-pointer from three steps behind the line with 1:25 left.

    One night after a difficult overtime loss at Seattle, the Hornets got a 4-for-18 shooting performance from Jamal Mashburn. Charlotte had 19 turnovers and shot 40 percent from the field while losing its third straight on the road, where the Hornets are 17-14 this season.

    "He's still getting his game back, but you could see it tonight, his legs weren't there," Charlotte coach Paul Silas said of Mashburn. "He had no lift on his shot. He was just out of sync."

    The Kings didn't flow in their usual fashion as they played without backup big man Scot Pollard, who had a strained lower back. They also lost Stojakovic briefly in the first half with a jammed left ankle.

    Game notes

    The Kings signed forward Chucky Brown to a second 10-day contract. Brown has played for an NBA-record 12 teams. ... Sacramento improved to 24-0 when leading after the first quarter at home. ... Charlotte's George Lynch went scoreless in 16 minutes.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 87 99
    FGM-FGA 31-77 (.403) 37-83 (.446)
    3PM-3PA 2-8 (.250) 2-7 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 23-31 (.742) 23-30 (.767)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-42 10-44
    Assists 15 23
    Turnovers 19 12
    Steals 7 12
    Blocks 5 2
    Fast Break Points 3 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (1/0) 20 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Lee Nailon Nailon
    Points: 18
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
    Points: 24
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0