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Stojakovic, Christie propel Kings to easy win

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Along with the rest of the NBA's
All-Stars, Peja Stojakovic was properly deferential to Michael
Jordan last weekend.

Back in the real world, however, Stojakovic and the Sacramento
Kings weren't in the mood for any fond farewells.

Stojakovic had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Doug Christie had
16 points and 12 rebounds as the Kings opened a seven-game
homestand with a 99-80 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

Jordan, in his first game since his celebratory All-Star weekend
in Atlanta, had 12 points on 5-of-19 shooting before sitting out
the fourth quarter of a blowout loss.

Barry Bonds, Jerry Rice and Tim Brown all watched Jordan's final
Sacramento appearance from courtside -- but Stojakovic and the Kings
were the show while snapping their first two-game home losing
streak since April 2001 with another methodical victory.

"It was great to get a chance to play against the greatest
player in the world, but it's no different when we we're back in
Sacramento,'' said Stojakovic, who defended his 3-point shootout
title last weekend. "We need to get a lot of wins in a row.''

Vlade Divac had 13 points, joining six Kings scoring in double
figures, as Sacramento won for the third time in seven games since
Chris Webber sprained his ankle on Jan. 28. Sacramento jumped to a
25-point lead in the third quarter and beat Washington at home for
the fifth straight time.

The rest of the Wizards shot just as poorly as Jordan, though
they made three of their final four shots to finish with 29.9
percent shooting -- three-tenths better than their worst shooting
game of the season.

Jordan had eight points in the first quarter, but he didn't
score again until hitting a jumper with 5:08 left in the third --
part of Washington's 11 points in the quarter on 4-of-25 shooting.
It was the lowest-scoring game of Jordan's career against
Sacramento.

"I'm not immune to having bad games,'' Jordan said. "I look
forward to bouncing back from them. Sometimes when you have seven
days off, the first thing you lose is rhythm. A lot of us didn't
have any rhythm tonight.''

Stojakovic went just 1-for-5 on 3-pointers before leaving early
in the fourth quarter with cramps in both of his calves. He also
rebounded aggressively in Webber's absence, adding to the Kings'
season-high 57 rebounds despite playing with a small lineup for
much of the night.

"We're just trying to maintain position until our (injured)
guys get back,'' Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "If we can win
games on this homestand, it'll set the tone for the rest of our
season. Just because we're at home doesn't mean we're going to win
these games.''

Larry Hughes scored 13 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter,
even though he missed 10 of his 15 shots. Only one of the Wizards'
10 scorers shot better than 50 percent on the first night of a
three-game Western road swing.

"We played like we had a week off,'' Washington coach Doug
Collins said. "The disappointing thing for me was that we played
with no edge or determination. What was deflating was that we
couldn't make a shot.''

Washington won its last two before the break, but Sacramento was
well on the way to a blowout even before making prolonged runs
before and after halftime. Stojakovic scored easily against
Jordan's defense, while Christie's stifling defense kept Jordan
uncomfortable.

Jim Jackson sneaked under Jordan's arm for a layup with four
seconds left in the third quarter, giving Sacramento a 75-50 lead.

"I just try to make him work before he gets the ball,''
Christie said. "He's very strong, so if you let him get the ball
without working, you're pretty much at his mercy.''

Sacramento, the NBA's best home team over the past three
seasons, won't play on the road again until Feb. 27 -- likely enough
time to heal a few of its minor injuries. Only Toronto has lost
more man-games to injury this season than the Kings, who have kept
winning anyway.

Bobby Jackson might be back as early as this weekend, pending
the results of an X-ray Thursday on his broken hand. Webber might
need a bit more time, but he's expected back before the end of the
homestand.

Jerry Stackhouse missed his third straight game with a groin
injury for the Wizards, though he traveled with the team.

Game notes
Rice, who made his 13th Pro Bowl earlier this month, is
four months older than Jordan ... Adelman used his 12th different
starting lineup this season. Last season, he used nine. ... Johnnie
Baker, the father of former Giants manager Dusty Baker, sat in his
usual seat -- wearing a Chicago Cubs hat and jacket.

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