Monday , Apr , 17 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Kings clinch playoff spot with win over Hornets

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Mike Bibby scored 23 points to lead the
Sacramento Kings over the Hornets, 96-79, and secure a spot in the upcoming
Western Conference playoffs.

Bonzi Wells added 16 points and Ron Artest had 13 points, six rebounds and six
assists for the Kings, who have won two in a row and can at best clinch the
seven seed if the Lakers lose their season finale and Sacramento wins its
finale.

“I don’t think like we ever felt like we couldn’t get it together,” said
Bibby, whose team was in danger of not making the playoffs earlier in the
season.

Chris Paul had 12 points and seven assists for the Hornets, who have lost two
straight and four of five.

The Kings led 26-20 after one quarter and turned it on in the second. Ahead
just 28-24, Sacramento used a 16-8 run to begin to build a cushion. Shareef
Abdur-Rahim’s bucket with five minutes to play in the half gave the Kings a
42-28 lead and it didn’t end there.

Sacramento scored eight of the final 10 points of the frame to go into the
break with a 54-35 cushion.

The second half wasn’t much better for the Hornets. The team trailed 69-47 at
the midway point of the third quarter and went into the fourth down 78-63.

The Hornets never got within striking distance over the final 12 minutes and
the Kings cruised to the victory.

“We’re happy for Shareef,” said Wells of his teammate making the playoffs. “I
think that’s the reason he came here. He wanted to experience something on the
other end of the NBA life – winning.”

Abdur-Rahim ended with eight points for the Kings, who have won five of six
and end their regular season at home against Seattle on Tuesday.

Game Notes

David West and Marc Jackson each had 10 points for the Hornets…Brad Miller
had 11 points and six rebounds for the Kings…Sacramento improved to 26-14
at ARCO Arena this season…The Hornets have lost 10 straight in
Sacramento…The Hornets fell to 14-25 as the visitor.

SAC NOH