I’m back: Artest makes first return to Indiana
(Sports Network) – The Sacramento Kings will put their five-game winning
streak on the line tonight when they visit the Indiana Pacers at Conseco
Friday’s contest also marks the first time Kings forward Ron Artest plays
against his former club. Indiana dealt the enigmatic Artest to the Kings on
January 25th for sharp-shooting forward Peja Stojakovic.
The Kings, who are 15-7 with Artest, made it five in a row and eight win in
nine games with Tuesday’s 114-98 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Seeded
seventh in the Western Conference, Sacramento got 29 points from Mike Bibby
and 28 from Artest.
Brad Miller totaled 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Kenny Thomas ended with
14 points and seven boards, as the Kings pushed past the Lakers by a half-game
into seventh place in the West.
Sacramento also posted its 13th straight win at home. It will now hit the road
where it has won four if its last five games. The Kings are just 11-20 away
from ARCO Arena this season.
The Pacers, meanwhile, are 11-9 since acquiring Stojakovic in late January.
Indiana is 1-1 on its four-game homestand and suffered a 101-99 loss to the
Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night. Carmelo Anthony of the Nuggets buried a
jumper with 2.2 seconds left, as Denver held on for a win at Conseco
The Pacers have lost two of their last three games overall and are 19-11 at
home this season.
In the season series between Indiana and Sacramento, the Pacers lead 1-0 after
a 108-83 victory on January 8 at ARCO Arena. Stephen Jackson had a game-high
31 points and Fred Jones added 18 in the win.
Sacramento has won 10 of the last 19 meetings, but has lost 14 of its last 18
trips to Indiana.