Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/3

Game 1: Saturday, November 3rd
Game 2: Wednesday, January 16th
Game 3: Friday, February 1st
Game 4: Thursday, March 21st

Nuggets 82


Kings 118

(49-18, 32-3 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 21, 2002

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 28 20 18 1682
    SAC 34 35 25 24118

    Top Performers

    Denver: G. McCloud 15 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Sacramento: H. Turkoglu 31 Pts, 9 Reb, 10 Ast

    Kings hand Nuggets seventh straight loss

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- With Peja Stojakovic out with an injury, Hedo Turkoglu was the perfect replacement.

    Hedo Turkoglu

    Turkoglu scored a career-high 31 points as the Sacramento Kings beat Denver 118-82, sending the Nuggets to their seventh straight loss Thursday night.

    Stojakovic sat out because of an injured hamstring. In his place, Turkoglu was 12-for-15 from the field in a rare start. The Kings are 25-5 when he scores in double figures.

    "Peja is a good scorer, probably one of the leading scorers on the team, and today I tried to do the same things as him, to rebound and score," said Turkoglu, in his second year. "I had to step it up and play as a starter."

    Chris Webber added 20 points, Bobby Jackson scored 17, and Doug Christie and Mike Bibby had 11 each for the Kings, who are 2 games ahead of Dallas, San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference.

    In a warmup to Sunday's home game against the Lakers, Sacramento appeared ready for the showdown. The Kings have the NBA's best record at 49-19 and are 32-3 at home, also a league best.

    "Are they ready for us?" center Vlade Divac said when asked if the Kings were ready for the Lakers. "We've been playing some good basketball the last couple weeks. Everything is in our hands."

    Sacramento swept the Nuggets in four games this season, beating them by an average of 22 points.

    George McCloud led Denver with 15 points, and Zendon Hamilton had 14 for the Nuggets, who shot just 32 percent from the field (29-90). They just didn't have enough ways of stopping Turkoglu.

    "We knew Hedo could play," Nuggets forward Calbert Cheaney said. "With a team like them, any player can step up. Everybody is so good offensively and he has got great game."

    The 36-point margin of victory tied the Kings' largest this season, also done against Denver on Feb. 1 and Houston last Nov. 19.

    "It's frustrating," Nuggets coach Mike Evans said. "We're playing teams that are in the playoff hunt and they see us as a chance to win the ballgame and improve their chances in the playoffs."

    With the Kings ahead 94-66 after three quarters, Sacramento fans began chanting "Beat L.A." before the fourth quarter began.

    Trailing 32-18 with 3:04 left in the first quarter, the Nuggets went on a 13-2 run to pull within three, their closest margin for the game. Christie and Scot Pollard followed with baskets to spark the Kings' 13-3 run, making it 47-34. After winning the tip, the Kings took a 13-0 lead, with Turkoglu scoring nine points.

    Doug Christie left the game in the third quarter with a bruised right knee after tripping over a photographer.

    Game notes

    The Nuggets placed forward Antonio McDyess on the injured list because of inflammation in his left knee and activated forward Chris Andersen. ... Turkoglu scored 15 of his 31 points in the first quarter on 6-for-7 shooting. ... The Kings are 26-0 when leading after first quarter at home. ... Sacramento's Bobby Jackson received a standing ovation with 5:57 left in the second quarter when he grabbed Voshon Lenard's layup attempt above the rim and threw it to the court.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 82 118
    FGM-FGA 29-90 (.322) 43-75 (.573)
    3PM-3PA 2-11 (.182) 7-15 (.467)
    FTM-FTA 22-29 (.759) 25-31 (.806)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-45 7-47
    Assists 17 30
    Turnovers 17 16
    Steals 9 11
    Blocks 4 9
    Fast Break Points 6 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 23 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    George McCloud McCloud
    Points: 15
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Hedo Turkoglu Turkoglu
    Points: 31
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0