Tuesday , Jan , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Sacramento fans get first glimpse of Artest in Kings’ uniform

(Sports Network) – Ron Artest makes his home debut in a Sacramento uniform,
as the Kings welcome the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday to ARCO Arena.

The Kings acquired the volatile Artest from the Indiana Pacers on January 25th
for sharp-shooting forward Peja Stojakovic. Sacramento now has one of the best
defenders in the league. The Kings have also inherited a whole lot of trouble,
as the 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year made headlines last season when
he charged into the crowd after fans after getting hit with debris during a
game against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace. Commissioner David Stern
showed no mercy, as he suspended Artest for the final 73 games of the season.

Denver has lost 18 straight at Sacramento. The last time the Nuggets won in
Sacramento was on January 7, 1997. It is the third of four meetings between
the clubs this season. In the two previous contests, both teams picked up a
victory on its homecourt. Sacramento has won three of the last five contests
in this series.

The Nuggets are scheduled to host the Kings on April 15th at the Pepsi Center.

Sacramento, which enters Tuesday’s contest on a two-game losing streak,
returns home after going 1-5 on a six game road trip. On Sunday, Jalen Rose
knocked down a jump shot with four-tenths of a second left in overtime to give
the Toronto Raptors a 124-123 win over the Kings at Air Canada Centre.

Mike Bibby fell two points short of a career-high with 42 points and the
recently acquired Artest netted 24 and pulled down nine boards in the loss to
Toronto for the Kings.

The Kings are 12-11 as the host this season. They have won three in a row at
ARCO Arena.

Artest is averaging 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his two games
with the Kings. He has played more than 30 minutes in both contests.

Sacramento has scored 100 or more points in six of its last nine contests and
has also allowed its opponent to reach the century mark six times in that same
span.

The Kings will play a home-and-home set with the Utah Jazz on Friday and
Sunday. They will visit Utah on February 3rd before returning home for a
three-game homestand. After hosting the Jazz on February 5, the Kings will
welcome the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls to ARCO Arena.

Sacramento played the Jazz earlier this season. On November 15th, Bibby scored
a game-high 25 points to lead the Kings over the Jazz, 119-83, at ARCO Arena
Utah will host the Kings on March 25th in the fourth and final meeting between
the clubs in the 2005-06 campaign.

SAC