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Reeling Raptors lose fifth straight

2/23/2004

TORONTO (AP) -- The Sacramento Kings bounced back in the second
half after one of their worst first halves of the season.

Peja Stojakovic scored 27 points and Mike Bibby had 21 to lead
Sacramento past the short-handed Toronto Raptors 96-81 Sunday.

The Kings, the NBA's highest scoring team, had only 39
points in the first half and trailed Toronto, the lowest scoring
team, by eight. However, Bibby got Sacramento going in the third
quarter, scoring 12 of his 18 second-half points.

"It was because of the time difference," Stojakovic said. "It
was early in Sacramento. The start of game is usually when we wake
up. It was just about energy. We approached the game kind of lax.
We thought it was going to be easy."

Chris Bosh had 20 points for the Raptors, who tied a season-high
with their fifth straight loss. Toronto is in danger of falling out
of the playoff race after losing Vince Carter and Jalen Rose to
injuries.

Sacramento won for the sixth time in seven games despite playing
without injured center Brad Miller, suspended forward Chris Webber
and injured guard Bobby Jackson.

"We needed to change our attitude in the second half," Divac
said.

Sacramento coach Rick Adelman wasn't happy with the effort.

"We were playing with no intensity at all in the first half. It
was almost like we expected to win," Adelman said. "Offensively,
we were totally out of it. We didn't run anything."

Alvin Williams' jumper gave Toronto a nine-point lead early in
the third, but Bibby sparked a 17-2 run with a 3-pointer, and
capped it with a fastbreak layup to give the Kings a six-point
lead.

Sacramento started the fourth quarter on a 16-4 run, including
two 3-pointers by Stojakovic. Darius Songaila capped it with a
jumper for an 85-71 lead.

Songaila, recently inserted into the staring lineup, had 15
points and 10 rebounds, while center Vlade Divac had 13 points and
12 rebounds.

"They are better than us. That doesn't mean you give up, but
the reality is they are better," Toronto's Michael Curry said.
"They shot 31 percent in the first half and that was the reason we
were up."

Bosh, guarded by Songaila, had 14 points in first half and
Jerome Moiso, who has barely played this season, had all of his 10
to help Toronto build its halftime lead.
^Notes:@ Carter is expected to miss at least two weeks because of a
sprained left ankle, and Rose is out at least a month with four
broken bones in his left hand. ... Sacramento outrebounded Toronto
49-37. ... The Kings went 2-1 on their three-game road trip. ...
Toronto's Donyell Marshall had 18 points and 13 rebounds. ... The
Raptors suspended disgruntled forward Lamond Murray for this game,
one day after he criticized coach Kevin O'Neill. In a statement
released Saturday, the Raptors said Murray was suspended for
conduct detrimental to the team. Murray ripped O'Neill after
playing just six minutes in Toronto's 91-72 loss to New Jersey on
Friday night.