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Bibby scores 25 or more for the fifth straight game

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- It's strange when the Sacramento Kings
are talking about being .500 for the first time almost a month into
the season.

"I wouldn't have thought it would be a goal of ours," center
Brad Miller said. "I assumed we'd be there."

A lot earlier, that is.

Mike Bibby scored 25 points and the Kings evened their record
for the first time with their third straight victory, 110-92 over
the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night.

Bibby scored 25 or more points for the fifth straight game,
making his first six shots and finishing 9-for-11 from the floor
with four 3-pointers. Miller added 20 points and nine assists as
the Kings concluded a four-game homestand with a lopsided win in
which the reserves played the entire fourth quarter.

For Bibby, this has been an important stretch, considering his
early struggles to find his shooting touch with the added weight he
carried on his 6-foot-2 frame coming into training camp.

"My shot was going down," Bibby said. "When I shot the first
one, it felt pretty good. I was just trying to test it and see if
they were all going to go in."

Sacramento also welcomed back leading scorer Peja Stojakovic
after he missed the previous three games with a sprained right
pinkie finger that he hurt Nov. 20 in Seattle. He had five points
in 23 minutes. Francisco Garcia, who had started in Stojakovic's
place, added eight points in 19 minutes.

Kenny Thomas came off the bench to score 11 points, all during a
26-10 run that spanned the first and second periods. Thomas started
last season but is adjusting to coming off the bench for now -- and
trying to be a good sport about it.

"Getting into the flow of the game, that's the hardest thing,"
he said. "I'm a professional. ... That really felt good to
contribute on the offensive end."

Kareem Rush had 15 points and Primoz Brezec added 13 points and
12 rebounds for the Bobcats, who also got nine assists from Brevin
Knight as they began a four-game road trip.

Miller scored nine points during Sacramento's 32-point third
quarter in which the Kings shot 63 percent (12-for-19) and led by
as many as 25 in the period. Sacramento (7-7) beat the Bobcats for
its third straight victory in Arco Arena on the way to the Kings'
first three-game winning streak of the season.

"If we keep playing the way we're playing, we've got a chance
to win some games," coach Rick Adelman said. "We can't step back.
At least right now we've righted ourselves and are back to .500."

Shareef Abdur-Rahim added 10 points for the Kings and is the
only Sacramento player to score in double figures in each of the
first 14 games.

Bibby made all six of his shots in the first quarter and Thomas
followed Gerald Wallace's six straight points with six in a row of
his own to end the opening period and give Sacramento a 30-25 lead.

Wallace, a former Kings forward coming off a 26-point,
career-best 14-rebound and five-block performance in a 100-82
victory Saturday over the Washington Wizards, was limited to 10
points on 5-of-15 shooting while playing under tough defensive
pressure from Bonzi Wells most of the night. Wells also had 12
points and eight boards.

"I really tried to push it and I wasn't patient enough,"
Wallace said. "We pride ourselves on defense, but tonight it just
didn't happen. When they are all clicking like that, nobody can
stop them."

The Bobcats made 41 percent of their first-half shots and the
Kings consistently went hard to the basket to draw fouls.
Sacramento made 13 of 14 free throws on the way to a 59-46 lead at
the break.

Charlotte's Emeka Okafor had his streak of six straight
double-doubles end with only eight points and nine rebounds.

Stojakovic wore tape to protect his finger and experienced no
pain.

"The shots I took felt good, but they just didn't go in," he
said.

Game notes
Charlotte fell to 0-8 when scoring under 100 points. ...
Bobcats rookie F Sean May missed his second straight game with a
sore right knee. He didn't play Saturday night against Washington,
and Charlotte has back-to-back games this week. Coach Bernie
Bickerstaff is hopeful May will be available for Wednesday night's
game at Seattle. May, the 13th overall pick in the June draft, had
arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Sept. 13 and missed part
of the preseason. ... The Kings know the Golden State Warriors are
trying to supplant them as Northern California's top NBA franchise.
The teams face off for the first time this season Wednesday night
in Oakland -- with the Warriors (10-6) off to their best 16-game
start in 14 years. "They feel they are the up-and-coming team,"
Sacramento guard Kevin Martin said.