Thursday , Mar , 11 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Kings welcome Mavs to ARCO Arena

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Two Western Conference teams headed towards
the playoffs meet tonight, as the Dallas Mavericks start a three-game road
trip against Chris Webber and the Pacific Division-leading Sacramento Kings at
ARCO Arena.

This is the third meeting of the season between the two squads. The Mavericks
have won the previous two contests, winning once in Sacramento and once at
Dallas. The teams will play once again on April 1st at AmericanAirlines

The Kings are currently the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, three games
ahead of the Midwest Division-leading Minnesota Timberwolves. The Mavs are in
fifth place, 1 1/2 games back of the Los Angeles Lakers and just a half game
in front of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Sacramento comes into tonight’s game having won two straight and 13 of its
last 16 games overall. On Tuesday, Doug Christie poured in a team-high 23
points and handed out six assists to lead Sacramento Kings to a 96-92 victory
over the Golden State Warriors at ARCO Arena.

Mike Bibby finished with 21 points and Peja Stojakovic had 20 points and nine
rebounds in Tuesday’s victory, as the Kings won their sixth home game in the
last seven tries. Webber did not have as solid a night as his teammates, as he
made just 2-of-21 from the floor and scored just five points to go along with
11 rebounds.

Stojakovic has scored in double digits in 13 straight games and has played at
least 37 minutes in those contests. He has averaged 25.6 points in his last 10

The Kings, who have won three straight and six of their last seven as the
host, are an impressive 28-5 at home this season.

Dallas, which is a league-best 29-4 at home, will play eight of its next
10 on the road. On Monday, Dirk Nowitzki poured in a team-high 26 points on
11-of-13 shooting from the field to lead the Mavericks to a 103-90 victory
over the Phoenix Suns at American Airlines Center.

Antawn Jamison came off the bench to add 21 points and eight rebounds in the
victory, as the Mavericks snapped a three-game losing streak. Michael Finley
scored 13 points and Steve Nash chipped in 12.

Nowitzki, who did not practice with the Mavs on Wednesday because of a stomach
virus, has scored in double digits in 11 straight games. He has averaged
20.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in that span. He’s a game-time decision for
tonight’s contest.

The Mavericks, who have lost three straight on the road, are just 11-19 as the
visitor this season.

Dallas has won six of nine and eight of its last 12 meetings with the Kings.
The Mavericks have won two straight and five of their last six at Sacramento.