Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/3

Game 1: Sunday, November 3rd
Game 2: Sunday, January 5th

Kings 78

(3-1, 1-1 away)

Heat 88

(1-2, 1-1 home)

    6:00 PM ET, November 3, 2002

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    SAC 20 21 18 1978
    MIA 21 27 18 2288

    Top Performers

    Sacramento: K. Clark 19 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    Miami: B. Grant 10 Pts, 14 Reb, 2 Ast

    Heat's Riley avoids first 0-3 start of career

    MIAMI (AP) -- With his team winless and in danger of blowing a lead for the third game in a row, Pat Riley turned to the bench and found help.

    Vladimir Stepania

    Reserves Mike James and Vladimir Stepania sparked a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter that helped the Miami Heat give the shorthanded Sacramento Kings their first loss Sunday, 88-78.

    The victory allowed Riley to avoid the first 0-3 start of his career.

    "It was a great effort,'' he said. "A lot of NBA teams don't bring it every night. They bring their talent, and maybe they get by with it, but we can't. We have to bring an incredible effort every night.''

    Keon Clark scored 19 points for the Kings (3-1), who were again without three regulars and shot just 36 percent. Starters Bobby Jackson and Predrag Stojakovic were a combined 6-for-30, and Sacramento went 2-for-14 from 3-point range.

    Jackson gave the Heat's defense a backhanded compliment.

    "They got away with a lot of grabbing and holding,'' he said. "We like to do a lot of backdoor cuts, but that wasn't there tonight because they kept grabbing us.''

    Miami was called for 23 fouls to 16 on Sacramento, but Clark also complained about the officiating.

    "Unfortunately, there are people on the floor who also control the game, and they aren't in uniform,'' Clark said. "I guess all we can do is control what we can, and we didn't do that tonight.''

    Malik Allen had 15 points against the Kings, who released him before the season two years ago. Eddie Jones led Miami with 16 points, and Brian Grant had 10 points and 14 rebounds in 28 minutes.

    "When we get everybody chipping in, that's what it's going to take, because we don't have a whole bunch of superstars,'' Grant said.

    Reserves scored all of the points during the 12-0 run midway through the fourth quarter that put Miami ahead 80-65. James was 1-for-7 before he sank consecutive 3-pointers to make it 74-65, and Stepania then hit back-to-back baskets.

    Stepania finished with 10 rebounds and eight points in 20 minutes.

    "Just doing my job,'' he said. "Right now I'm a role player, but it was a very big responsibility.''

    Sacramento's reserves missed 14 of 19 shots and were outscored by the Heat's backups 24-20.

    Kings forward Chris Webber missed his third game in a row with a lower abdominal strain, backup center Scot Pollard missed his second consecutive game with a strained back, and guard Mike Bibby is expected to be sidelined at least six weeks recovering from foot surgery.

    Rookie Caron Butler scored 13 points, all in the first half to help the Heat lead 48-41 at halftime. They then failed to score on 10 consecutive possessions early in the second half, but three baskets by Travis Best helped Miami rebuild its lead to 66-56.

    "We didn't play very well,'' Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "The Heat was more aggressive; beat us to a lot of loose balls. We were trying to force the issue too much, and you can't do that against a team like that. That's not how we play.''

    Game notes

    Heat guard Anthony Carter missed his third game in a row because of strep throat. ... Miami's defensive scoring average so far is higher than in recent seasons, but Riley attributed the increase to the team's uptempo offensive style rather than poor defense. "You want to get it back to 70 (points)?'' Riley asked with a laugh. "I can get it back to 70 quick. It's easy to have good defense in this league. You just don't shoot the ball and don't dribble much.'' ... The Kings fell to 3-12 in Miami. ... The Kings are in the midst of a stretch where they'll play four road games in five nights.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 78 88
    FGM-FGA 27-76 (.355) 35-89 (.393)
    3PM-3PA 2-14 (.143) 5-17 (.294)
    FTM-FTA 22-29 (.759) 13-15 (.867)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-46 14-51
    Assists 17 21
    Turnovers 15 9
    Steals 4 5
    Blocks 8 4
    Fast Break Points 7 1
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (1/0) 23 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Keon Clark Clark
    Points: 19
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 4
    Brian Grant Grant
    Points: 10
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0