Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/10

Game 1: Wednesday, November 10th
Kings78Final
SuperSonics108
Game 2: Tuesday, February 1st
SuperSonics106Final
Kings101
Game 3: Thursday, February 10th
Kings107Final
SuperSonics115
Game 4: Tuesday, April 5th
SuperSonics101Final
Kings122

SuperSonics 101

(50-24, 25-12 away)

Kings 122

(46-30, 28-11 home)

Coverage: CSNS

7:00 PM ET, April 5, 2005

Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 24 33 24 20101
SAC 27 38 32 25122

Top Performers

Seattle: R. Allen 23 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

Sacramento: P. Stojakovic 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 7 Ast

Seattle's bid to clinch Northwest delayed

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Though the Sacramento Kings got a whole lot grittier through trades this season, that new toughness also led to their prettiest stretch of offense this season.

Peja Stojakovic scored 24 points, Cuttino Mobley had 21 and the Kings emphatically avoided getting swept in their season series with the SuperSonics, beating Seattle 122-101 Tuesday night.

Kenny Thomas scored 20 points, and Mike Bibby had 15 points and 10 assists as the Kings made a season-high 58.8 percent of their shots to move 1½ games in front of Houston for fifth place in the Western Conference standings. Golden State beat the Rockets 122-117.

Only the Phoenix Suns average more points per game than Sacramento this season, but the Kings' up-tempo attack and spread-the-floor offense have been particularly impressive in recent days. The Sonics were powerless to stop Sacramento, which scored 70 points in the middle two quarters and produced a season-high 36 assists.

"I knew we could shoot, but I hadn't seen us shoot like this before," said center Brian Skinner, who does the dirty work in the paint to allow Sacramento's perimeter shooters to dominate. "Layups, 3-pointers, mid-range jumpers -- everything was going down tonight."

Stojakovic hit five 3-pointers, Mobley had four and Eddie House added two more.

The Kings are racking up triple-digit final scores with a flair they haven't shown since the first few years of their current stretch of six straight playoff appearances. They have scored at least 118 points three times in their last five games, including a 128-point effort at Cleveland on Friday.

Coach Rick Adelman suspected the Kings were in for a big night on offense when he saw his team's defensive energy in their pursuit of loose balls, tipped passes and rebounds. Sacramento surpassed 100 points against the Sonics on Darius Songaila's jumper in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

"We've been scoring, but we were much more active defensively tonight," Adelman said. "I think it goes together. When you're really working hard on defense, that tends to carry over to the other end of the court."

The Kings also prevented the Sonics from clinching the Northwest Division title while scoring more points than any of Seattle's opponents this season. Sacramento lost its first three games against the Sonics this season, but overwhelmed Seattle in the first meeting since Chris Webber was traded to Philadelphia.

"Since Sacramento traded C-Webb, they basically went to a spread-the-floor offense where the guards are the dominant players on the floor," said Seattle center Jerome James, who had 13 points. "They're more run-and-gun, looking for the open shot and trying to outscore teams. ... The best defense is offense. If you try to score more points than your opponents, you don't have to play defense."

Ray Allen scored 23 points and Damien Wilkins had 20 for the Sonics, whose indifferent defense postponed their division-clinching victory for the second time in three days. Seattle also lost Sunday at Golden State, while the Denver Nuggets have won 18 of 20 since the All-Star break to move within 7½ games of the Sonics.

Wilkins finished one point shy of his career high, but Seattle hit just four 3-pointers and had only 13 assists.

"Defensively, we couldn't stop anybody tonight, and they were shooting the ball extremely well," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "They were definitely coming out playing for playoff position. You have to get closer when guys are shooting the ball and they're hot. When we do that, we're breaking down and giving up penetration."

The Kings have been holding off Houston for the fifth seed for nearly two weeks, but Sacramento actually might fare better in the playoffs against the third-seeded Sonics, whose perimeter game and poor defense could play into the Kings' strengths.

But don't tell that to Adelman.

"The seeding makes no difference, because you don't know who you're going to face," he said. "You just play the games, and whatever happens, happens."

Game notes


The Kings are playing without regulars Brad Miller (broken leg) and Bobby Jackson (torn wrist ligament), while the Sonics are without Rashard Lewis (bruised foot) and Vladimir Radmanovic (broken leg). All four probably will be sidelined until the playoffs. ... Danny Fortson played 15 minutes for Seattle despite a sprained shoulder -- and the temperamental forward got yet another technical foul for arguing in the third quarter, giving him five T's and one ejection in the Sonics' four games against Sacramento this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SEA
SAC
Points 101 122
FGM-FGA 39-82 (.476) 47-80 (.588)
3PM-3PA 4-16 (.250) 11-19 (.579)
FTM-FTA 19-26 (.731) 17-22 (.773)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-37 10-35
Assists 13 36
Turnovers 12 11
Steals 7 7
Blocks 7 4
Fast Break Points 9 14
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (2/0) 22 (2/0)
Largest Lead 4 26

Top Performers

Seattle
Sacramento
Ray Allen Allen
Points: 23
Reb: 6
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
Points: 24
Reb: 4
Ast: 7
Stl: 0
Blk: 0