HOUSTON (AP) -- Once Peja Stojakovic start moving, the Sacramento
Kings began to rally.
Stojakovic, the NBA's second-leading scorer with a 24.6 average,
scored just nine points in the first half as the Rockets moved out
to a 53-46 lead.
But Stojakovic scored all but two points in a 13-0 run to give
Sacramento a 63-58 lead with 5:24 left in the third period. The
outburst was part of a 26-4 run that helped the Kings to a 78-63
lead, Sacramento's largest advantage of the game.
"I tried to use my big guys," Stojakovic said of his scoring
spree. "I just tried to run around behind them and they'd hand the
ball off to me. We were moving the ball and did a good job of
working it around."
Stojakovic shot 5-for-7 from the field and 2-for-4 from the line
in the quarter. Sacramento shot 63 percent (12-of-19) from the
Stojakovic's 13 points in the quarter helped the Kings move out
to a 78-68 lead after three quarters.
"I felt good after I hit a 3-pointer (with 6:48 left in the
third)," said Stojakovic, who also had 11 rebounds. "And the guys
just started looking for me. It all happened so quick. It seemed
like it was a couple of minutes that we went from being down to
The Kings were looking for their scorer in that span.
"We ran some different things then," coach Rick Adelman said
of the third-quarter spurt. "We tried to run (Stojakovic) off more
people. We pushed the ball more then too."
Webber was glad to see the plan work.
"We moved (Stojakovic) around and made a lot of handoffs off
the dribble," Webber said. "We just made a commitment to do it
and it made a difference."
Houston was outscored 32-15 in the third quarter.
"We start a lot of third quarters slow," Rockets coach Jeff
Van Gundy said. "Our focus as a team, obviously, is not where it
should be and we start slow over and over again."
Most of the Rockets believe they played well.
"Today was a good game to me against a real good team," Steve
Francis said. "We played hard but we didn't get the ball to bounce
our way and it hurts."
Jackson scored four points in an 11-2 run at the start of the
fourth quarter, helping the Rockets get back into the game. Scott
Padgett hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Houston an 85-84 lead
with 5:16 remaining.
A layup by Stojakovic made it 93-92 with 1:11 left. Webber's
jumper 18 seconds later gave Sacramento a 95-92 lead. Mike Bibby
scored with eight seconds left, extending the lead to 97-92.
Cuttino Mobley scored five points in a 13-2 second-quarter run
as the Rockets moved out to a 41-38 lead with 5:07 left in the
half. Houston closed the half with an 11-2 run and held a 53-46
advantage at the break. Yao scored six of his 15 first-half points
in the outburst.
With 7:55 left in the third quarter, Francis fell hard on
his back under the Kings' basket and was motionless on the court
for a short time. He went to the bench and later returned to the
game. ... Yao Ming had his team-leading 32nd double-double of the
season. ... None of the Kings' starters had an offensive rebound in
the game. ... Brad Miller missed his third straight game with acute
bursitis in his right elbow ... The Kings, who entered the game
with a two-game losing streak, have not lost more than two in a row
Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead would love to wind up in New York, but the Knicks probably would have to trade for a draft pick to get him.
The Cavaliers fan who burned LeBron's jersey when the superstar left for Miami in 2010 has had a change of heart.
The Nets have traded Thaddeus Young to the Pacers for the 20th overall pick in this year's draft and a future second-round pick, sources confirmed to ESPN.