Stojakovic lifts Kings to comeback win over Houston
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Peja Stojakovic poured in a game-high 29
points to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 100-95 win over Houston at ARCO
Mike Bibby added 20 points and handed out seven assists, as Sacramento won its
sixth straight home game. Chris Webber posted a double-double with 13 points
and 15 rebounds in the winning effort.
“That’s life,” Webber said referring to the crowd booing him throughout the
game. “You come back after 10 months, you’re hurt, and they want to ride you
like that, what can you do? It’s definitely changing my focus, changing my
Maurice Taylor paced the Rockets with 23 points, as Houston lost its third
straight overall and ninth in a row at Sacramento. Steve Francis and Cuttino
Mobley chipped in 17 and 16 points, respectively, for the Rockets.
“You want every game, and this is definitely one of the games that we let slip
away,” Francis said. “Hopefully we can learn a lesson from this, that
execution is very important, because I don’t think we executed late.”
Sacramento won its fourth straight over the Rockets after losing the previous
two meetings in the series.
The Rockets led 88-82 with 6:37 remaining in the game following a pair of free
throws by Francis. But the Kings responded by scoring the next seven points,
capped by Anthony Peeler’s three-pointer, to go up by one with 4:28 left.
Jim Jackson answered at the other end of the court with a three of his own to
put Houston back on top at 91-89.
However, Sacramento outscored the Rockets 11-4 in the final 2:13, highlighted
by threes from Stojakovic and Vlade Divac, to grab the win.
“We were not at our best when we needed our best,” Houston head coach Jeff Van
Gundy said. “We missed a lot of layups. … We have to have more resolve, and
we don’t have resolve to finish right now.”
It marked the 44th time this season that the Kings scored at least 100 points
in a game, while improving to 37-7 in those contests.
Taylor scored six points and Francis added five as the Rockets raced out to an
18-6 lead at the midway point of the first quarter. Both teams traded baskets
the rest of the frame and Houston held a 26-18 lead after one.
Houston opened the second quarter with an 11-3 run, keyed by four points from
Yao Ming, to take a 37-21 advantage.
The Rockets extended their lead to 40-23 moments later on a Jackson three, but
Sacramento went on a 12-1 spurt to pull within six with 4:31 to go until
halftime. Stojakovic, who netted eight during the flurry, capped it with a
three-pointer from the left wing.
Houston reeled off the next seven points, including five from Mobley, to go
back up by double-digits at 48-35. The Rockets’ lead stayed above double-
digits the rest of the period, as they held a 54-44 edge at the intermission.
Taylor’s jumper in the lane staked Houston to a 60-50 lead two minutes into
the third quarter. The Kings, though, used a 12-2 spurt, capped by
Stojakovic’s three, to knot the game at 62 apiece with 6:38 remaining in the
Stojakovic drained another three with 3:36 left to put the Kings up 71-70, but
Houston scored the final six points of the frame to take a 76-71 edge into the