Kings crown Wolves; force Game 7
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Peja Stojakovic scored 22 points and grabbed
eight rebounds, as Sacramento forced a decisive seventh game in their Western
Conference semifinal series against Minnesota with a 104-87 victory over the
Timberwolves in Game 6 at ARCO Arena.
Minnesota, the top seed in the Western Conference, will host Game 7 on
Brad Miller collected 17 points, seven boards and five assists for Sacramento,
which will be involved in a seventh game in the conference semifinals for the
second straight year. The Kings dropped Game 7 to Dallas in the second round
of the 2003 playoffs.
“The good thing is, we’ve been in this situation before,” said Sacramento
forward Chris Webber about playing in a Game 7. “So I feel comfortable going
Mike Bibby and Doug Christie each netted 16 points for the Kings. Bibby also
handed out 10 assists.
Latrell Sprewell paced Minnesota with 27 points. Kevin Garnett contributed 19
points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Timberwolves, who are attempting
to capture their second consecutive playoff series after having never advanced
past the first round prior to the 2004 post-season.
Minnesota held a six-point lead early in the second quarter, before Anthony
Peeler nailed a three-pointer for Sacramento to ignite a 14-0 spurt that gave
the Kings a 45-37 lead.
Sacramento was later in front 48-41 and then closed the period with a 9-3 run
to carry a 57-44 advantage into the locker room. Bibby and Sprewell led their
respective clubs in the first half with 14 points apiece.
The Kings made 13-of-21 shots from the floor in the second stanza as they
outscored the Timberwolves 33-14.
Minnesota battled back and closed within 61-55 on Sprewell’s three-pointer
with 8:10 remaining in the third quarter.
Sacramento then countered with a 10-2 spurt to regain a double-digit advantage
at 71-57 with 2:47 left in the period. Christie and Miller each sank four free
throws during the run.
In the closing stages of the third stanza, Garnett and Peeler got involved in
an altercation. Peeler caught Garnett with an elbow in the stomach with 30
seconds remaining. On the next trip down the floor, Garnett hit Peeler in the
shoulder with an elbow and the Sacramento guard retaliated with his forearm
to Garnett’s face and was ejected with 13.5 seconds left.
“I feel everybody should have gotten kicked out,” Peeler said. “It always
takes two people to fight. It’s never one person.”
The Kings eventually led 78-63 after 36 minutes.
Minnesota got as close as 94-87 on Garnett’s basket with 3:25 remaining in the
fourth quarter. However the Timberwolves would not score again, while
Sacramento countered with 10 points to win going away.
The Kings took control early, scoring 17 of the first 25 points of the game.
Christie’s three-pointer with 6:41 left in the opening quarter staked
Sacramento to a nine-point lead.
Minnesota then responded with a 20-2 burst to take a 28-19 advantage. Fred
Hoiberg, Sam Cassell and Sprewell each scored six points during the surge. The
Timberwolves led 30-24 after 12 minutes.
Sprewell was 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. Cassell ended with 16 points.
Webber chipped in 14 points and seven boards for the Kings.
Miller was fined $10,000 on Sunday by the NBA for making an obscene gesture
toward the Minnesota fans in Game 5 of this series.
The home team has won 83 percent of Game 7s.