Wednesday , Mar , 07 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Artest-less Kings down Pacers

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Kevin Martin scored a game-high 27 points
to go along with seven rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings edged the Indiana
Pacers, 102-98, at ARCO Arena.

Mike Bibby had 22 points for Sacramento, which won its fourth straight game
despite playing without second-leading scorer and troubled forward, Ron
Artest. In what would have been his first game against his former team, Artest
was not in uniform, one day after being arrested for domestic violence at his
home in Loomis, CA.

According to the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, a female called 911 at
9:23 a.m. local time on Monday, reporting that she had been assaulted by
Artest. Deputies responded and found both parties in the home, but separated.
Artest cooperated during the interview and was booked without incident before
posting bond. He is awaiting a March 22nd arraignment.

On Tuesday, the Kings indefinitely excused Artest from the team. As a member
of the Pacers, he ignited a November 19, 2004 brawl between Indiana players
and Detroit Pistons fans at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Artest ran into the
crowd and threw punches after being hit with a cup, resulting in a year-long
suspension.

Corliss Williamson came off the bench to score 13 points for Sacramento, which
has won eight of nine on its home court. Shareef Abdur-Rahim also finished
with 10 points for the Kings.

Mike Dunleavy scored a team-high 24 points for the Pacers, who have lost a
season-high six straight. Jermaine O’Neal chipped in with 22 points and 12
rebounds, and Jamaal Tinsley scored 11 points for Indiana, which nearly
overcame a third-quarter 20-point deficit.

Facing a 15 point deficit to open the third quarter, Indiana came out firing.
Troy Murphy opened the second half scoring with a short jumper, and the Pacers
outscored the Kings 14-10 in a little more than four minutes, trailing just
67-56 on Murphy’s shot off the glass at 7:53.

Sacramento responded with an 11-2 run after that point, opening a 20-point
cushion, 78-58, with 5:41 remaining in the stanza. The Kings made just one
more shot from the floor, however, as Indiana reeled off 16 straight points
and trailed 81-74 heading to the fourth.

The Pacer offense maintained its momentum in the final stanza and trailed by
just three, 93-90, on O’Neil’s bank shot with just 3:25 remaining. Sacramento
pulled away down the stretch, however, and led by six inside of a minute to
play.

The Pacers had a chance as the clock ticked down, but took a lot of time off
the game clock when they needed two attempts before Dunleavy’s jumper drew
them within two. Martin then closed out the scoring by making both shots from
the charity stripe for Sacramento.

The Kings led 30-22 after the first quarter and put some distance between
themselves and Indiana in the second. Abdur-Rahim opened the stanza with a
dunk to extend the Sacramento lead to 10, and his running jumper at 8:57
allowed the Kings to maintain an eight-point edge, 39-31.

A jump shot and a layup by Williamson on consecutive possessions ignited an
8-4 mini spurt for the Kings, who then closed out the half on an 8-2 run.

Sacramento led 57-42 at intermission.

Game Notes

In 51 games this season with the Kings, Artest is averaging 18.7 points and
6.6 rebounds…When the Kings traveled to Indiana for a February 25 matchup,
Artest also missed the game for unspecified personal reasons…The Kings have
captured eight of the last 10 contests in the series…Sacramento shot 48
percent (36- for-75) in the contest…Indiana finished at 49 percent shooting
(41-for-84)…The Pacers won the battle of the boards, 38-37.

IND SAC