Saturday , Apr , 08 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Bibby leads Kings over Clippers

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Mike Bibby scored 30 points and
grabbed six rebounds as the Sacramento Kings defeated the Los Angeles
Clippers, 96-93, at Staples Center, denying the Clippers a chance to clinch
their first playoff berth since the 1996-97 season.

“The best thing is that after the start we had no one thought we could make
the playoffs,” said Bibby. “The best thing about it is proving everybody
wrong.”

Ron Artest scored 23 points, dished out six assists and made some
key defensive stops down the stretch for the Kings, who with the win and
the Lakers 107-96 loss to Phoenix, move into a seventh-place tie with the
Lakers. Brad Miller chipped in 18 points and seven rebounds while Bonzi
Wells added nine points and 10 boards for the Kings, who have now beaten
the Clippers 13 straight times.

Cuttino Mobley scored a team-high 19 points while Elton Brand totaled
a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who saw
a modest two-game wining streak snapped. Sam Cassell scored 17 points
and snatched six boards.

“A four-point lead with under two minutes to play, your very much in the
game,” said Brand. “We had some defensive lapses that freed Artest for some
open looks.”

The Clippers will now try to clinch a playoff spot on Sunday with a
win against the Lakers.

The Kings took a 72-69 lead into the final stanza and held a small
advantage over the first half of the quarter. However, with 4:32 to play,
Cassell hit a jumper to put the Clippers on top, 86-85. The lead was
extended to four points, 91-87, with 2:52 remaining as Cassell drained a
three over Kenny Thomas with the shot clock winding down.

Artest tied the contest with 1:10 left as he pulled up on the left wing
and sank a three-pointer. Brand missed a turnaround jumper on the
ensuing possession and Artest hit a fade away in the lane over Mobley
with 34.3 seconds left, putting the Kings up, 94-92.

With 17.5 seconds left, Mobley hit 1-of-2 free throws, cutting the lead
to 94-93, after driving the lane and drawing a foul.

Following a pair of Miller free-throws, Cassell missed a three-pointer
with 9.9 seconds and Miller was fouled again and sent to line. However, he
missed both freebies and Vladimir Radmanovic corralled the rebound. He
dribbled upcourt and fired a three from the left wing that found only
iron at the buzzer.

The Clippers scored the final five points of the opening frame to take a
25-21 lead and held a six-point advantage, 50-44, at the half. Brand scored 10
points and Kaman tallied nine points for LA in the opening half, while
Miller scored 14 points for the Kings.

The Kings went on a 7-0 run early in the third quarter to cut the lead to
one, 52-51. Sacramento took a 60-58 lead with 5:07 to play in the third
quarter as Thomas got loose underneath the basket for a dunk.

Game Notes

The Kings have now won five of their last six games…The Clippers owned
the boards, outrebounding Sacramento 52-36…LA shot just 3-of-17 from
beyond the arc while the Kings hit 7-of-15…The Kings will host Houston on
Sunday.

LAC SAC