Kings hand Nets first home loss since Nov. 16

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The Sacramento Kings considered it
a measuring stick game. By the time it ended, they were standing a
whole lot taller than the New Jersey Nets.

The second-best team in the West humiliated the top team in the
East, going on a 38-10 run bridging the first and second quarters
in a 118-82 victory Thursday night that prevented the Nets from
matching the longest winning streak in franchise history -- 11

It was the first home loss for the Nets since Nov. 16, when the
West's other powerhouse -- the Dallas Mavericks -- beat them by
eight. That game at least was competitive, a quality this game
lacked for a majority of its 48 minutes as the Kings built a
42-point lead.

"I'm stunned. I didn't expect to lose by 36 points," Nets
coach Byron Scott said. "Not a good time to play one of your worst

Peja Stojakovic scored 24 points, Mike Bibby added 23 and Chris
Webber had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings, who won their
fourth in a row to improve to 27-9.

The Kings took the Nets out of their running game, were the
aggressors on both ends of the court and kept New Jersey from
making any kind of a run after taking a big lead by the end of the
first quarter.

"We all came in focused. We know they're the best in the East,
and we wanted to see how we measure up against them," Webber said.
"Yes, it was definitely a statement game, but at the same time I
remember last year winning a lot of statement games and losing Game
7 (of the Western Conference finals)."

Jason Kidd was outplayed by Bibby, finishing with 10 points on
5-for-17 shooting including 0-for-4 from 3-point range.

Lucious Harris and Jason Collins scored 11 apiece for the Nets,
whose home winning streak was snapped at 13.

"We're here to break it," Bibby said before tipoff.

The game changed as soon as Kidd went to the bench for a rest
with 5:23 left in the first quarter -- a move that Scott has been
making consistently over the past 10 games.

A jumper by Keon Clark tied the game at 19-19, and Stojakovic
scored the final seven points of an ensuing 11-0 run that helped
the Kings to a 34-23 lead after one quarter.

"To me, he's the best point guard in the league. I was
surprised to see him go out that early. I'm not their coach, but I
was surprised," Bibby said.

Kidd returned to start the second quarter, but Sacramento wasn't
finished with its onslaught.

A dunk by Clark made it 43-25, consecutive 3s by Stojakovic made
it 49-29, and a 17-footer by Stojakovic upped the lead to 61-33 and
led to the Nets getting booed off the court with 2:38 left. The
lead reached 30 on a 19-footer by Webber with 9 seconds left before

"They had every right to boo. We should have started booing
too. We had a bad performance," Kidd said.

Another clue that it was Stojakovic's night came early in the
third when he launched a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner.
The ball sailed over the corner of the backboard, kissed gently off
the glass and went in for a 78-46 lead.

A 3-pointer by Doug Christie following two offensive rebounds
made it 81-48, generating the loudest boos of the night from New
Jersey's third sellout crowd of the season.

Sacramento led 96-58 entering the fourth, just missing a chance
to open a 41-point lead when Christie missed a wide-open 3-pointer
2 seconds before the third quarter ended.

"Just one game, dog. We got a game tomorrow," Nets forward
Kenyon Martin yelled to a fan as reserves played out the fourth

Approximately 80 percent of the crowd was gone by the time Brian
Scalabrine scored the game's final points on a breakaway dunk with
19.7 seconds left.

"You've got to give them credit. They came in and kicked our
butts. They came in and played with a purpose tonight and really
gave it to us," Nets guard Lucious Harris said. "I don't think
they missed a shot, especially Peja."

Game notes
The Nets activated Chris Childs for the first time this
season. Childs reported to camp overweight and was suspended for
five weeks. He had been on the injured list since Dec. with
Achilles tendinitis. To make room on the active roster, G Brandon
Armstrong went on the injured list. Childs played the final 8
minutes and had 2 points and two assists. ... Energy food? Several
of the Kings had a pre-game meal of fried chicken strips and french
fries. ... The Nets play seven of their next eight on the road,
starting with a stop Friday night in Toronto where they've lost
four straight. ... Sacramento finishes a three-game road trip
Friday at Minnesota. ... The Kings and Nets will play again in 12
days at Arco Arena.


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