Kings hold on to crown Suns
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Mike Bibby poured in 37 points, including a
career-high 9-of-12 from three-point range, as Sacramento downed Phoenix,
107-100, at ARCO Arena.
Ron Artest scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Kings, who
snapped a three-game skid. John Salmons chipped in 17 points with five boards
and Francisco Garcia donated 13 and dished out five assists off the bench in
Sacramento guard Kevin Martin left the game in the second quarter after
getting poked in the eye while driving to the basket. The team said Martin had
double vision and he did not return, finishing with just one point and five
Leandro Barbosa posted 27 points and Amare Stoudemire had 23 with 11 rebounds
for the Suns, who were denied their third straight victory. Steve Nash
contributed 18 points with nine assists and Shawn Marion added 17 and grabbed
eight boards in defeat.
The game was close in the early going with Sacramento holding a slim lead
throughout, then finally breaking it open with a 9-0 run that bridged the
first and second quarter for a 32-23 advantage with 10:10 left.
Phoenix, however, fired back with a 17-8 burst and tied the game at 40 on
Marion’s layup. The Kings, though, scored six straight points — five from
Bibby — and Salmons drained a jumper with 32 seconds remaining to go back up
Raja Bell’s turnaround jump shot capped the frame and cut the Suns’ deficit to
54-47 at the break.
Phoenix finally took the lead in the third on Boris Diaw’s hook shot to make
it a 73-72 contest at the 2:03 mark. Bell then capped a 33-point frame with a
jumper to put the Suns up 80-77.
Things turned around for Sacramento in the fourth as Bibby’s three-pointer
sparked an 11-0 spurt, ended with a Salmons lay-in for an 88-82 edge.
Minutes later, Phoenix cut within one, 91-90 on Barbosa’s jumper, but Garcia
drained two from the line and Bibby buried a trey to give the Kings a six-
point lead with 3 1/2 minutes to play.
Then, with 1:36 left, Marion’s jump shot brought the Suns within 98-96,
however, Bibby hit back-to-back triples to ice the game.
Sacramento finished 52 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from
long range…Phoenix shot 46 percent from the floor and 30 percent from beyond
the arc…The Kings notched their first win against the Suns this season,
snapping a five-game losing streak.