Saturday , Apr , 01 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Kings improve playoff chances with win over Warriors

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Bonzi Wells totaled 22 points and pulled down
eight rebounds, as the Sacramento Kings claimed further command of the eighth
playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 96-93 victory over Golden State
at The Arena in Oakland.

Mike Bibby added 21 points, Ron Artest and Brad Miller each donated 17 points
and Kenny Thomas compiled 10 points and nine rebounds for Sacramento, which
won its second straight contest.

The win, coupled with Utah’s loss against the Los Angeles Clippers, gives the
Kings a 2 1/2 game advantage over the Jazz in the race for the final
playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Mike Dunleavy sprang for 24 points and Jason Richardson scored 17 for Golden
State, which dropped its third consecutive contest. Mickael Pietrus donated 16
points and Derek Fisher added 13 in the loss.

The Warriors started cutting into a double-digit deficit during the late
stages of the third period.

Golden State tallied the final six points of the third stanza to get within
70-64. Dunleavy capped the quarter with an acrobatic finger roll that just
beat the buzzer.

After Shareef Abdur-Rahim converted a three-point play to make the score
73-66, the Warriors ripped off seven straight points to tie the game. Pietrus
started the brief spurt with a trey and Richardson completed the stretch with
a reverse layup.

Sacramento answered a few minutes later with a 10-2 spurt to post a double-
digit advantage. Artest scored the first four points and Wells capped the
burst with a transition slam at the 3:09 mark to make the score 88-78.

Trailing 92-83 with 2:02 to play, Golden State stormed back. It scored six
straight points, capped by Pietrus’ slam with 45 ticks remaining. Miller
eventually made two free throws with nine seconds left to increase
Sacramento’s lead to 94-91 then Fisher converted a driving layup with 4.5
ticks on the clock.

Miller was fouled and calmly stroked home both free throws to push the edge to
96-93. Then, Richardson fumbled the inbounds pass and missed a desperation
heave from the top of the circle as time expired.

Golden State led 32-25 after the first stanza, but Sacramento quickly asserted
itself during the second quarter. The Kings bolted into the lead behind an
18-4 spurt highlighted by solid, unselfish play on the offensive end and
tenacious defense.

Miller tallied seven of the points, Wells’ slam in transition squared the
contest at 40-40 with 4:56 to play and Bibby’s trey gave Sacramento a 46-40
edge.

The Kings also scored eight of the half’s final 11 points to take a 54-45
lead. Bibby’s long-distance jumper capped the first-half scoring with 1:03
remaining.

Game Notes

Sacramento improved to 14-23 on the road…The Warriors fell to 18-19 at
home…The teams split four meetings this season, with each team winning one
contest at home and on the road…Golden State made only 9-of-28 from beyond
the arc…The Warriors held a 54-34 edge with points in the paint.

GSW SAC