(29-31, 10-20 away)
(32-27, 19-9 home)
7:30 PM ET, March 6, 2006
IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ
Bibby scored 23 of his 29 points in the first half and Brad Miller added 21 points, leading the Kings over the New Jersey Nets 109-84 Monday night.
"It's a big road trip and every game is crucial," Bibby said. "It was just a case where we were a little more aggressive. Once we made some shots, everything just started to click on all cylinders."
The Kings, trying to catch the eighth-place Lakers for the final Western Conference playoff spot, rebounded from Sunday's loss in Washington to win for the seventh time in 10 games overall.
Bibby was 10-for-16 from the floor and Miller was 9-of-10 for the Kings, who put five players in double figures. Reserve Bonzi Wells had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Ron Artest and Kenny Thomas each had 11 points. Bibby also had 10 assists.
"Things are really good right now," Miller said. "Every game is real important for us. On this trip, we knew we needed at least four wins. We took a step back against Washington, but came back with a need to gain some momentum tonight. It just shows signs that we're coming together as a team."
The 25-point loss was the most lopsided this season at home for the Nets, and the second time they couldn't stop Sacramento's offense. The Kings beat the Nets 114-105 on Nov. 23, the highest point total allowed by New Jersey all season.
Vince Carter led the Nets with 21 points but shot just 8-for-22 from the floor. Richard Jefferson had 18 points and 39-year-old Clifford Robinson added 13 off the bench for New Jersey. Jason Kidd had 10 points and 11 assists.
"They played to their strengths and we didn't defend," Kidd said. "Early on, Bibby got going and from there it was the floodgates. They got any shot that they wanted. We tried to execute the best we could the scheme. They picked it apart. They got shot after shot and a lot of shots they are comfortable with. You give a team like that comfort shots, they're going to wear you out."
After the two teams played to a 26-all tie after one period, the Kings took command in the late stages of the second quarter behind Bibby, who scored 11 of his 23 first-half points in the final 2:18.
Carter nailed a 3-pointer with 2:37 left to bring the Nets within 47-46, but Bibby scored all of Sacramento's points in an 11-2 run, pushing the lead to 58-48 at halftime. Bibby was 9-of-11 in the first half.
"I think we came back with a good attitude tonight," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "Obviously, we need Bibby to run our offense and he did tonight. I don't know if he broke their spirits before the half, but it was huge for us."
The Kings then scored the first eight points of the third quarter over a 2:52 span, with Artest's uncontested layup increasing the lead to 66-48 with 9:08 left in the period.
The Nets never threatened after that. They shot a dismal 37 percent (33-of-89) from the floor and turned the ball over 12 times. They played uninspired from the first quarter on, much to the dismay of coach Lawrence Frank, who called several timeouts in the second half trying to motivate his lackluster team.
"This was my fault," Frank said. "I didn't have our guys prepared. I didn't do my job right. Defensively, I'll take 100 percent responsibility for this one. I did a poor job."
The Kings put away the game by scoring the first nine points of the fourth quarter, increasing the lead to 94-68 on a long 3-pointer from Miller.
Robinson reached three milestones in the game. The 16-year vet played in his 1,307th career game, tying him with Buck Williams for eighth on the career games played list. He scored 13 points, giving him 19,209 career points, which moved him past Eddie Johnson for 35th on the NBA's career list. Robinson also played 22 minutes, which gave him 41,069 minutes played, going past Scottie Pippen for 14th on that list. ... The game marked the first appearance in New Jersey of Shareef Abdur-Rahim since the Nets tried to acquire him last summer. The Nets had worked out a sign-and-trade deal with Portland, before the Nets pulled the plug on the deal after Abdur-Rahim failed his Nets' physical with a bad knee. Abdur-Rahim is still working his way back into shape with the Kings after missing 10 games with a fractured jaw and saw limited action Monday night, scoring seven points in 15 minutes. ... Frank was trying for the 100th win of his three-year NBA coaching career. When he does reach the milestone, he will become only the third coach in franchise history, joining Kevin Loughery and Byron Scott.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||39-79 (.494)||33-89 (.371)|
|3PM-3PA||6-14 (.429)||5-18 (.278)|
|FTM-FTA||25-30 (.833)||13-20 (.650)|
|Fast Break Points||22||6|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||22 (1/0)|