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Stojakovic helps make up for Webber's absence

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The night was crystallized for Bobby Jackson on the final play of the third quarter, when he drove the
length of the court past all five Trail Blazers for an uncontested
layup.

All five defenders saw Jackson, and they knew time was running
out. They just couldn't cover all the options for the Sacramento
Kings, who overcame the absence of three starters to beat Portland
100-72 Thursday night.

Peja Stojakovic scored 26 points as Sacramento cruised to an
impressive victory over the talented Blazers with no help from
Chris Webber, Mike Bibby and Doug Christie -- three starters from
last season's Pacific Division championship team.

"We play so well together, it's ridiculous,'' said Jackson, who
had 20 points and 10 rebounds. "If three starters are out, we just
fill those gaps with guys we have on hand. On that play where I
drove the lane, they were all worried -- I might pass it, I might
shoot a jumper. You can't defend everything we might do.''

Vlade Divac had 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the
Kings demonstrated the true depth of their roster in what should
have been a difficult Western Conference matchup. Instead, six of
the Kings' nine players in uniform had at least four field goals
apiece, and they led by 25 points in the third quarter.

"The guys know it when guys are out,'' Sacramento coach Rick
Adelman said. "You have to step up, and you have to do a little
bit more. Right now, it's important we stay together. We don't have
a lot of margin for error, and we don't have a lot of bodies.''

Webber was held out after he turned up at the shootaround with
strained lower abdominal muscles. Christie finished his two-game
suspension for a preseason fight with Rick Fox, while Webber sat in
street clothes with Bibby and Mateen Cleaves -- both sidelined by
foot injuries.

Rasheed Wallace scored 24 points for the Blazers, who beat the
Lakers at home on Wednesday night but shot poorly and made too many
turnovers at Arco Arena. Portland never led and got frustrated in
the second half, abandoning any pretense of set plays as the
deficit grew.

The Blazers beat the Lakers in their season opener, but they
came out cold and never warmed up. The Kings' defense played a role
as well, as it did in holding Cleveland to 67 points in Tuesday's
opener.

"They made the same plays time and time again for layups,''
Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said. "I made adjustments, but we
just made the same bad plays time and time again. ... Our defense
was atrocious.''

The Kings beat Portland for the fifth straight time at Arco
Arena. Passing the ball with their usual flair and defending more
aggressively, the Kings turned it into a laugher by opening the
second half with an 18-4 run before Hedo Turkoglu scored the first
nine points of the fourth quarter.

Bonzi Wells had 11 points and six rebounds for Portland, which
made just 7 of 17 free throws and committed 16 turnovers.

"We had a good opportunity to win this without Webber, but we
came out flat,'' said Jeff McInnis, who went scoreless in 17
minutes. "They're a hard team to beat when they're making shots.''

Gerald Wallace had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento to
back an outstanding game from Jackson, whose second start in
Bibby's spot was much better than his tentative opener.

Jackson, a career sixth man who will play many additional
minutes in Bibby's absence, dominated his matchup with Damon
Stoudamire while Divac and Stojakovic set up much of Sacramento's
offense. Though he probably isn't 6-feet tall, Jackson went in
among the Blazers' forwards for most of his rebounds.

"I was kind of surprised they didn't play as well as they
can,'' Jackson said. "The rebounds are just part of my game. I'm a
great rebounder for my size.''

Rasheed Wallace missed nine of his first 10 shots, and got his
first technical foul of the season for arguing with referee Tommy
Nunez with 7:49 left in the third quarter. Wallace scored 13 points
in the third quarter, but the Kings still pulled away.

The Kings expect to take Webber on their four-game road trip,
which begins Saturday in Memphis, but there's no telling when he'll
play. Bibby is expected to be out until December, while no return
date has been set for Cleaves.

Game notes
Rasheed Wallace wrote "J-M-J'' in large silver letters on
his sneakers. Jam Master Jay, rap group Run-DMC's influential DJ
and hip-hop pioneer, was killed in his New York studio on
Wednesday. ... Damon Jones, who made four 3-pointers for Sacramento
on Tuesday night, hit another in the fourth quarter. ...
Compounding the Kings' injury problems, Stojakovic sprained his jaw
when he was hit while making a half-court 3-pointer shortly before
halftime. He stayed in the game. ... Portland has won 14 of the
last 21 meetings.

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