Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/25

Game 1: Tuesday, January 25th
Nets93Final
Kings113
Game 2: Wednesday, February 16th
Kings85Final
Nets96

Nets 93

(15-26, 6-17 away)

Kings 113

(28-12, 18-5 home)

    Coverage: CSNS

    7:00 PM ET, January 25, 2005

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 18 27 23 2593
    SAC 30 26 32 25113

    Top Performers

    New Jersey: V. Carter 23 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Sacramento: B. Miller 31 Pts, 12 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Sacramento center hits 11 straight shots

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Though Brad Miller's teammates and coaches have begged him to shoot more, the Kings' center usually ignores their cajoling unless Chris Webber is out of the lineup.

    Miller had a season-high 31 points and 12 rebounds while making 11 straight shots, and Sacramento rebounded from an embarrassing loss with a 113-93 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night.

    Miller thrived in the absence of Webber, who sat out with a sprained right ankle. The two-time All-Star made every shot he took during the final three quarters, finishing 14-for-18 while flawlessly filling Webber's playmaking role atop the offense.

    "They always say I'm probably the only person in the league that doesn't want to shoot enough," Miller said. "When Webb is out, I know I've got to be able to step up and change my role a little bit. I'm cool doing it every now and then."

    His inside play also got New Jersey's big men into foul trouble, forcing defensive mismatches for the undermanned Nets. The Kings would love to see that aggressiveness more often -- but Miller, who made his way into the NBA with hard, thankless work, usually refuses to assert himself quite so forcefully.

    "I don't think he's ever been a volume shooter," coach Rick Adelman said. "His first thought is to pass and to not take the shot. The way they were defending, he was going to get shot after shot after shot, and we kept telling him that."

    There were plenty of open looks to go around. Peja Stojakovic scored 25 points and Cuttino Mobley had 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Kings, who made a season-best 55 percent of their shots and recovered nicely from their worst home loss in nine years. San Antonio beat them 103-73 Sunday night, snapping a six-game winning streak.

    Mike Bibby had 19 points -- including four 3-pointers -- and 10 assists as the Kings moved the ball exceptionally well to set up plenty of open outside shots while taking a 23-point lead in the third quarter. The Kings, who had a franchise-low eight assists against the Spurs, had 32 against the Nets.

    "It's easy to get assists on this team when you have so many scorers and shooters and unselfish guys," said Mobley, who's averaging 4.3 assists per game with Sacramento since arriving in a trade with Orlando, where he got 1.8. "Brad is one of the best-shooting big men out there, and he can take it to the hole, too. But he's unselfish."

    Vince Carter scored 23 points for the Nets, but sat out the fourth quarter after tweaking his right ankle. New Jersey has lost in the first two stops of its five-game West Coast road swing.

    "Defense, more than anything, hurt us," Carter said. "They're a high-powered team. You have to stop Bibby and Peja, and once they started hitting, everybody else did, too. They're tough to guard."

    Jason Kidd added eight points on 3-of-10 shooting and seven assists for the Nets, who haven't won in six trips to Sacramento since Nov. 30, 1997. Coach Lawrence Frank thought he prepared his team poorly for the Kings.

    "We weren't prepared to come out and play (the Kings' style of ball)," Frank said. "I shoulder responsibility. We didn't have people prepared to play pick-and-roll teams. With that type of performance, it's going to be hard to beat anybody."

    Brian Scalabrine scored 13 points for New Jersey. Billy Thomas, who signed a 10-day contract with the Nets on Thursday, had a career-high 12.

    Stojakovic scored 16 points in the first half and Bibby added 15 as the Kings got back to the fluid passing that made their winning streak so much fun to watch. After getting just three assists in the first three quarters against San Antonio, they had 14 at halftime against the Nets.

    Webber missed his fourth game of the season, but the Kings' leading scorer and rebounder hopes to return for their rematch with San Antonio on Thursday night.

    Game notes


    The Nets are 1-12 when allowing 100 points, and 0-9 when their opponents make at least 50 percent of their shots. ... Earlier in the day, Sacramento put F Maurice Evans on the injured list with a strained groin. The Kings also activated rookie F Erik Daniels. ... Nets backup Jabari Smith got a warm ovation in the second quarter from fans who remember his days as a Kings benchwarmer.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    NJ
    SAC
    Points 93 113
    FGM-FGA 35-83 (.422) 41-74 (.554)
    3PM-3PA 5-11 (.455) 8-15 (.533)
    FTM-FTA 18-22 (.818) 23-28 (.821)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-30 8-42
    Assists 21 32
    Turnovers 11 14
    Steals 10 5
    Blocks 1 3
    Fast Break Points 9 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 21 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 2 26

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Sacramento
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 23
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Brad Miller Miller
    Points: 31
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1