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Stojakovic scores career-high 41 points

12/24/2003

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Peja Stojakovic added another stellar
performance to a season full of them.

The sixth-year forward scored 26 of his career-high 41 points in
the second half to help the Sacramento Kings rally from an early
17-point deficit and beat the Memphis Grizzlies 114-97.

Brad Miller had his fifth straight double-double with 20 points
and 17 rebounds, and reserve guard Bobbie Jackson scored 10 of his
20 points in the second quarter as Sacramento (20-6) trimmed a
17-point deficit to 54-52 by halftime.

But Stojakovic, who entered tied for third in the NBA with a
24.3 per-game scoring average, was the main reason the Kings won
their fourth straight and moved into a tie with the Los Angeles
Lakers for first in the Pacific Division. He made five of
Sacramento's nine 3-pointers, and converted 14-of-15 free throws,
including three with 11.7 seconds left to reach his career high.

Doug Christie had 18 for the Kings, who have won 16 of 18.

"The second quarter was really good, we came with a lot of
energy, came back and made it even," Stojakovic said. "After
halftime we came out with more energy in the second half, and that
was it."

Pau Gasol had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Memphis (15-13).
James Posey added 18 before being ejected with 11.7 seconds left
after receiving his second technical foul.

Memphis, playing its fourth game in five nights, had its biggest
lead with just under three minutes left in the first quarter. It
took the spark provided by Jackson in the second quarter to bring
life to the Kings.

"I just thought that as the game went on we just really
maintained a really good mental toughness," Kings coach Rich
Adelman said. "In the first quarter we just came out really flat --
I don't know what it was. The guys just did a great job in the
second half."

Sacramento led by as many as 12 in the third, but the Grizzlies
cut the lead to 75-70 by the end of the quarter. In the fourth,
Jackson hit two 3-pointers and Stojakovic nailed another to give
Sacramento an 87-76 lead with 8:17 left.

"We lacked energy in our game plan," Grizzlies coach Hubie
Brown said. "I thought it was extremely difficult for us to
maintain the lead with them shooting 26 foul shots. It was
extremely difficult."

The second quarter was a feisty affair featuring technical fouls
by Stojakovic and Memphis' Gasol and Bonzi Wells. With seconds left
in the fourth and with the crowd chanting for Stojakovic to eclipse
the 40-point barrier for the first time in his career, Posey fouled
the Kings forward hard on a drive to the basket, and both players
fell to the floor.

Posey was ejected, and Stojakovic hit three free throws to reach
his final point total.

"The fans got into it, and we were going back and fourth,"
Stojakovic said. "The game is played 48 minutes, and (Posey)
shouldn't worry about playing defense on the last possession, but
during the first four quarters. If he wanted to make a big
defensive play, he should have done it before that."

Game notes
Grizzlies' 6-foot-1 point guard Jason Williams, a former
Kings player, punctuated his first-quarter block of 7-foot Miller's
layup attempt by yelling to courtside observers, "White men can
jump!" ... Miller averaged 19.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 5.5
assists in his previous four games. ... The Kings have won 12
consecutive home games.