Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/22

Game 1: Friday, November 22nd
Game 2: Tuesday, December 17th
Game 3: Saturday, December 21st
Game 4: Thursday, March 13th

Suns 86

(14-11, 4-8 away)

Kings 95

(21-6, 13-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 17, 2002

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 20 27 19 2086
    SAC 32 20 23 2095

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: C. Jacobsen 15 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    Sacramento: C. Webber 27 Pts, 12 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Kings become eighth franchise to win 2,000 games

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- While the rest of the Sacramento Kings gradually reach top form around him, Chris Webber is showing off his best game almost every night.

    Webber had 27 points and 12 rebounds as the Kings stayed perfect at home, snapping the Phoenix Suns' four-game winning streak with a 95-86 victory Tuesday night.

    Bobby Jackson had 19 points for the Kings, who never trailed in their 15th victory in 17 games. Sacramento scored 10 straight points to begin the fourth quarter while improving to 13-0 at Arco Arena this season.

    With their injury-plagued roster getting closer to full strength, the Kings got another outstanding game from Webber, the NBA's player of the week. The legal problems from his indictment on charges of lying to a grand jury don't seem to affect him on the court.

    As the Suns discovered, Webber is focused on the Kings' season, not his Michigan troubles.

    "The game right now is real easy for him," coach Rick Adelman said. "He's doing a little bit of everything, and he's doing it with confidence. This time, we got everybody else to step up and take bigger roles as well."

    The Kings increased their Pacific Division lead over Phoenix and Seattle to six games. They're 10{ games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers one week before their much-anticipated Christmas showdown at Staples Center.

    Sacramento also passed Indiana for the NBA's second-best record. The Kings and league-leading Dallas have the league's only perfect home records.

    What's more, Sacramento's extensive injury problems this season will be largely healed if Mike Bibby makes his season debut as expected on Thursday night against San Antonio.

    "After all the injuries and everything else, we're starting to get it all together," said Jackson, who returned after missing a game with a sprained foot. "I think people haven't paid as much attention to us, because they've been watching the Lakers and Dallas. We like that. We're under people's radar right now."

    Rookie Casey Jacobsen had a career-best 15 points for the Suns, who lost their sixth straight in Sacramento.

    Shawn Marion had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Suns, whose three-game road winning streak also ended on their second trip to Sacramento in four weeks. After scoring 39 in the Suns' last trip to Arco, Stephon Marbury had just nine points on 4-of-16 shooting, and Penny Hardaway had only eight.

    "That's what happens when we come into an environment like this and miss shots," Marion said. "Missing shots and making turnovers killed us."

    Phoenix played an aggressive, entertaining style after beating Orlando one night earlier, but the Suns managed just one field goal in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter during Sacramento's 14-5 run.

    Sacramento's start at Arco Arena is the franchise's best since moving to Northern California in 1985. The Kings, who began as the Rochester Royals before subsequent moves to Cincinnati and Kansas City, also became the eighth NBA franchise to win 2,000 games.

    League steals leader Doug Christie had six more, and Keon Clark blocked five shots as both teams repeatedly capitalized on passing mistakes and turnovers for easy baskets.

    "They kept getting rebounds, and we kept missing," said Suns coach Frank Johnson, whose team shot 38 percent. "It was the first quarter when we got caught watching, more than anything. We never came back from that."

    With Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu and Mateen Cleaves back in uniform, only Bibby and Scot Pollard still remain out with the injury problems that forced the Kings to dress eight or nine players for several games this season.

    Bibby hasn't played since breaking his foot during the preseason, but he expects to play Thursday. The Kings won't know for sure until he practices Wednesday.

    "Mike has declared he's coming back," Adelman said. "I told him that'll be my decision. He needs to calm down a little bit."

    Game notes
    Cleaves, who made his season debut Sunday against New Orleans, played in the final three minutes. ... Phoenix lost to the Kings for the eighth time in the division rivals' last 10 meetings. ... The other franchises with 2,000 victories: Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Golden State, New York, Philadelphia and the Lakers. ... It was just the second time all season that Marbury or Marion didn't lead the Suns in scoring. ... Sacramento is 16-0 when leading at halftime this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 86 95
    FGM-FGA 35-92 (.380) 41-90 (.456)
    3PM-3PA 4-14 (.286) 4-14 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 12-21 (.571) 9-14 (.643)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-54 11-51
    Assists 23 23
    Turnovers 18 16
    Steals 9 12
    Blocks 5 8
    Fast Break Points 3 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 17 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Casey Jacobsen Jacobsen
    Points: 15
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 1
    Chris Webber Webber
    Points: 27
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2