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Kings have just three turnovers in beating Spurs

12/9/2002

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs might have fared better
against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday if they had a pair of
Jacksons. And some steals. And their coach for all four quarters.

The Kings had all of these things, and they came away with a
104-80 victory over the Spurs in their first game at the SBC
Center.

The victory was the sixth in a row for Sacramento, which leads
the Pacific Division with an 18-5 record.

Jim Jackson came off the bench for 23 points and Bobby Jackson
contributed 18 points for the Kings. Chris Webber also finished
with 23 points by shooting 6-for-8 in the second half, and he
grabbed 13 rebounds.

Doug Christie tied the Kings' team record with eight steals
while also scoring 16 points and dishing out nine assists.

''(Christie kept) getting in the passing lane and getting in
their way,'' Bobby Jackson said. ''He set the defensive tempo for
us early and we just built on it.''

Christie said afterward that having so many injured teammates -- Sacramento had only eight players in uniform -- helped the Kings
keep their focus.

''Sometimes when you got a lot of people, there's a tendency -- myself included -- to lay back,'' he said. ''When you don't have the
people, you got to play hard.''

Sacramento tied an NBA record by turning the ball over only
three times -- two of them by Bobby Jackson and the other by Jim
Jackson.

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was ejected at halftime after
picking up his second technical for arguing just after the buzzer.
Assistant P.J. Carlesimo coached the team during the second half,
during which a six-point Kings lead grew to more than 20 early in
the fourth quarter.

Sacramento blew the game open with a 12-2 run to open the third
quarter.

San Antonio center David Robinson said the team had talked about
the Kings' six first-half steals, many of which turned into easy
baskets. But Christie swiped the ball twice more in the first two
minutes of the third.

''We were so determined to not let that happen again, and then
it happened again,'' Robinson said.

The Spurs answered with a 12-4 tear of their own to cut their
deficit to 66-58, with about four minutes left in the third. But
the Kings worked their lead back up to 14, 79-65, with an offensive
burst led by Jim Jackson's three baskets.

''They created turnovers and shot the ball well,'' Popovich
said. ''It was a combination of our defense not being up to par and
the turnovers leading to easy buckets.''

The Spurs did not get a single steal to offset their 21 turnovers,
which led to 29 points for Sacramento. They became the 19th NBA
team to go without a steal in a game.

Tim Duncan paced San Antonio with 16 points, 10 of them coming
in the first half, and 13 rebounds. Kevin Willis tied his season
high with 14 points for the Spurs, and Stephen Jackson also
contributed 14 and Malik Rose 10.

San Antonio, led by three baskets and two free throws by Duncan,
rushed out to a 14-8 lead in the opening minutes. The Kings then
went on a 7-0 run to take their first lead on a 3-pointer by Bobby
Jackson.

The Spurs' last lead of the night came at 19-17 when Willis
converted a three-point play with 1:52 left in the first, but Bobby
Jackson erased that advantage with an 8-footer a few seconds later.

A layup by Stephen Jackson early in the second period pulled San
Antonio into its final tie at 27. The Spurs closed to a basket
midway through the quarter before a 10-2 burst by Sacramento built
its lead to 48-38.

Jim Jackson scored 10 points in the second for the Kings.

Duncan, guarded by Webber, missed a 19-footer with 1.3 seconds left and the ball rolled out of bounds as time expired in the half.

Popovich and Carlesimo crossed the game floor to argue with
referee Bob Delaney that Webber should have been called for a foul
on that shot.

The argument got increasingly animated before Delaney flashed
the technical-foul sign and angrily pointed toward the San Antonio
locker room. Popovich had been whistled for his first technical of
the night earlier in the quarter.

Popovich then rushed toward Delaney, but he was held back by
Carlesimo and assistant coaches Mike Brown and Mike Budenholzer.

Game notes
The Spurs have lost five of their last six games to
Sacramento. ... San Antonio's record this season against teams with
winning records is 3-7. ... Sacramento's road record is now 7-5.
... San Antonio's next game is Wednesday against the Dallas
Mavericks, sporting the NBA's best record at 18-2. It will be the
first matchup between the rivals this season.