Stojakovic had 29 points and 12 rebounds, and the Kings spoiled
new-look Phoenix's return home by beating the Suns 113-93 Friday
"I'm a shooter," Stojakovic said. "Everybody said, 'Keep
shooting, keep shooting.' So that's what I'm doing. Either it goes
in or not. If it doesn't go in, Vlade (Divac) is going to get the
Mike Bibby had 25 points, and reserve Bobby Jackson scored a
season-high 24 -- including 14 of Sacramento's 25 in the second
quarter. Brad Miller had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings,
who were coming off a 103-94 loss at Seattle on Wednesday.
The revamped Suns activated 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year Amare
Stoudemire and rookie Zarko Cabarkapa from the injured list before
Stoudemire, who sprained his ankle at Boston on Dec. 5, scored
10 points in 19 minutes. Cabarkapa, a first-round draft pick,
missed 22 games because of a broken wrist and went scoreless,
missing three shots.
It was their first game in the lineup with Antonio McDyess,
acquired in a trade, and for coach Mike D'Antoni, who replaced the
fired Frank Johnson on Dec. 10.
"They diced us up pretty good," D'Antoni said. "We struggled,
obviously. It's not going to be easy."
The poor showing spoiled Phoenix's homecoming after a five-game
road trip. During the trip, the Suns traded Stephon Marbury, Penny
Hardaway and Cezary Trybanski to the New York Knicks for McDyess,
Eisley, three other players, two draft picks and cash.
"They're totally different," Jackson said. "You know, they're
still capable of beating anybody on a given night, but it's going
to take some time. With us, it's a lot of old guys, pretty much.
Veteran guys on this team, and we just know how to win games."
A crowd of 16,848 showed up to catch the new look.
The Suns, trailing 98-78 after a layup by Stojakovic with 9:21
left, crept within 10 points with a 12-2 run capped by Shawn
Marion's 8-foot floater off a spin move in the lane. That cut the
deficit to 100-90 with 6:22 to go.
But Phoenix squandered two possessions with missed shots, and
Bibby broke a nearly three-minute scoreless spell by the Kings with
a layup with 4:43 to play. Then Jackson stole the inbounds pass and
made a free throw, and Stojakovic, who had 13 points in the fourth
quarter, nailed a long jumper and a 3-pointer in a 41-second span
for a 109-90 lead with 2:58 to go.
"We had some great situations to come back and win in the
second half," Marion said. "We almost got to within single
digits, but we couldn't capitalize."
Bibby, who had nine assists, started the third quarter with a
long jumper and a 3-pointer and made two free throws with 2:13 left
in the quarter, sending the Kings to an 83-65 lead.
Sacramento led by seven points twice in the first quarter, going
ahead 34-27 on a fast-break layup by Jackson with 58 seconds left.
The Suns regained the lead, 37-36, on Eisley's short jumper 2:46
into the second and eventually worked their way to a 42-38 lead --
their biggest of the game -- on a three-point play by Johnson with
But Jackson scored 12 points in a 3:13 span, and Sacramento went
up 59-50 on a dunk by Miller in the final seconds before Phoenix's
Casey Jacobsen beat the halftime buzzer with a jumper.
"He really gave us life in that second quarter when they went
ahead of us," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "At the start of the
second we couldn't make a shot, and his spurt really put us in
Adelman (628-393) tied Doug Moe for the 17th-most wins in
NBA history. Adelman is 271-141 with Sacramento. ... The Suns will
induct Charles Barkley into their ring of honor on March 20.
Barkley averaged 23.4 points and 11.5 rebounds during his four
seasons with Phoenix, earning NBA MVP honors in 1993. ... The
Kings' only consecutive losses were Nov. 7-9 on a road trip to New
York and Boston. ... The Kings, with a Western Conference-best 25-9
record, are only 7-7 on the road.