Martin guides Kings past Pacers; Artest misses game
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Kevin Martin scored 35 points, grabbed
five rebounds and had three steals as Sacramento downed Indiana, 110-93, at
The Kings won despite toiling without the services of enigmatic forward Ron
Artest, a former Pacer. Artest was not with the team for personal reasons.
The former All-Star has been vilified by Indiana fans for his role in the
famous brawl between the Pacers and Detroit Pistons fans two seasons ago and
his subsequent trade request last year.
Mike Bibby added 28 points and six assists for the Kings, who snapped a two-
game skid and won for just the second time in seven games.
Jermaine O’Neal had 19 points, nine boards and six blocks for the Pacers, who
have dropped two straight games and fell seven games behind first-place
Detroit in the Central Division. Mike Dunleavy finished with 18 points and
nine rebounds, while Troy Murphy had 12 points and 11 boards.
After a tightly contested first half, Sacramento took control with a
dominating third quarter. A 13-0 run late in the quarter, fueled by five
Martin free throws and a three by Brad Miller, gave the Kings an 84-69 lead
with just over a minute left in the frame.
Darrell Armstrong finally stopped the bleeding with a three, but the Kings
still took an 87-74 advantage into the final frame.
Sacramento continued to hold the Pacers at arm’s length as the game headed
toward the stretch. Five straight points by Francisco Garcia, on a three and a
pair of free throws, extended the Kings advantage to 15, 96-81, with just 6:06
Indiana never seriously threatened from there.
The Pacers took a slim 27-24 edge after the opening quarter and still led by
three, 50-47, at intermission.
This was to be Artest’s second visit to Indiana being traded. Artest scored 18
points, but shot poorly in a 98-93 Kings loss last year…Sacramento is just
8-19 on the road this season.