Webber made 11 of 12 shots during one stretch and finished with
35 points and 13 rebounds as Sacramento reached 50 victories with a
107-90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.
The Kings maintained a half-game lead over the Lakers for the
NBA's best record. Two days earlier, Webber missed a shot at the
buzzer in a one-point home loss to the Lakers.
"We're still hurting from the loss to the Lakers, I know
personally I am," Webber said. "It would have been easy to have a
letdown today, but I'm glad we came out early and got a good jump
Brand was held to just three points and four rebounds by Webber,
who also had three steals and two blocks while shooting 15-for-21
from the field.
Brand did not score in the second half.
"I really made an effort to keep the ball out of his hands. The
less he shoots, the better chance I have," Webber said. "It was a
concentrated effort. I really tried hard to defend him."
Sacramento, which outrebounded Los Angeles 18-8 on the offensive
end and had a 22-12 edge in second-chance points, now embarks on a
six-game road trip.
"I was really happy with the way our guys responded," coach
Rick Adelman said. "Our guys understood after losing Sunday that
this was a big one to win before going out on the road."
Sacramento improved the NBA's best home record to 33-4, winning
by double digits at Arco Arena for the 24th time.
Michael Olowokandi scored 23 to lead the Clippers, who lost
their third straight and dropped 3 1/2 games behind Utah in the race
for the eighth playoff spot in the West.
Wallace got the start after Hedo Turkoglu came down with a case
of food poisoning prior to the game from eating a bad chicken
quesadilla. The Kings were already without their regular starting
small forward as Predrag Stojakovic missed his third consecutive game
with a sore hamstring.
Wallace finished the first quarter with 10 points and four
rebounds, and his point total would have been higher if a pair of
layups hadn't rolled in and out.
"I wasn't at all excited, I was highly nervous," Wallace said.
"The nervous part took over the excited part, so I didn't have a
chance to enjoy it."
Wallace scored Sacramento's first four points of the second
quarter, but the Clippers closed the half with a 7-2 run after
Vlade Divac picked up his third foul to cut their halftime deficit
Brand's only field goal in the game was a dunk with 8.5 seconds
remaining in the half.
The Clippers went on a 9-0 run early in the third to pull to
62-56. But Christie hit a 3-pointer, finished a fast break with a
dunk and converted a free throw after a technical foul on
Olowokandi as part of a 10-2 run that gave the Kings a 14-point
A 6-0 run got the Clippers within five, and Sacramento led 79-72
entering the fourth. The Clippers stayed within striking range as
Olowokandi hit a pair of jump hooks early in the fourth. But Webber
and Mike Bibby scored after offensive rebounds and Bobby Jackson
made consecutive layups for a 95-79 lead with six minutes left.
"Every time there was a key rebound, they came up with the ball
and scored," Clippers guard Jeff McInnis said. "They worked
harder than us."
The Kings improved to 13-1 on Tuesdays. ... The Clippers
lost for the first time this season when Turner Sports televised
the game. They had been 4-0 on national television, 6-0 dating back
to 1997. ... The Clippers have lost eight straight at Arco. ...
Coach Rick Adelman said he expects Stojakovic to return at some
point during the upcoming trip. "It feels better, but he still
hasn't gone out and just busted out running. We're going to have to
have him do some sprints and see how he feels," Adelman said. ...
Clippers guard Corey Maggette, out since Feb. 22 with two broken
bones in his right hand, said he expects to be activated Friday.
Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson have not discussed the Knicks' coaching search since their exit meetings last month.
The Hornets' Spencer Hawes has a sprained MCL in his right knee, an MRI revealed Thursday, and is likely out for the rest of the first-round series against the Miami Heat.
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