Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/14

Game 1: Saturday, December 14th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 28th
Game 3: Friday, March 7th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 16th

Kings 98

(19-6, 8-6 away)

Jazz 96


    Coverage: KJZZ

    7:00 PM ET, December 14, 2002

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    SAC 24 25 23 2698
    UTAH 20 31 21 2496

    Top Performers

    Sac: C. Webber 27 Pts, 13 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 Blk

    UTAH: A. Kirilenko 18 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Irate Jazz fans pelt court, refs with debris after game

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Sacramento Kings won a thrilling game that had an ugly finish.


    Chris Webber made four free throws in the final 8.5 seconds as the Kings beat the Utah Jazz 98-96 Saturday night after a disputed foul call prompted angry Jazz fans to throw debris at the officials as they left the court.

    "It was close. I think the refs decided the game,'' said Sacramento's Bobby Jackson, who scored 21 points.

    The players were already off the court as the debris, which included full plastic water bottles and mini basketballs, rained down. Referee Tony Brothers was hit on the forearm by a water bottle but was OK.

    Webber had 27 points and 13 rebounds and was 13-for-17 from the line. He was perfect when it counted most.

    Utah's John Stockton was fouled by Bobby Jackson with 2.4 seconds to go and Sacramento leading 96-95 after two free throws by Webber. Stockton hit the first free throw to tie it but missed the second, and John Amaechi was called for fouling Webber on the rebound.

    "I felt there was definitely a push-off, but if Stockton doesn't miss that shot we don't get the opportunity. I'm just happy he missed that shot,'' Webber said. "It was just a situation where I was happy to be in that position.''

    Jazz fans didn't think Amaechi, who got the rebound, touched Webber and booed loudly as Webber went to the line. The din got even louder when Scott Padgett's 3-point attempt at the buzzer hit the back rim, and then the throwing began.

    "I honestly thought the call was on Webber,'' said Matt Harpring, who had 16 points for the Jazz. "It was one of those when first you're like 'Hooray' and then 'Oh.'''

    Peja Stojakovic scored 18 for the Kings, who were 4-0 against the Jazz last season and have won seven straight regular season games against the Jazz. Sacramento also knocked Utah out of the playoffs in the first round in four games last season.

    The Jazz have lost three straight.

    "We just came couple of baskets short, but that seems to be the way we are these days,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We get close but we can't finish them.''

    Andrei Kirilenko scored 18 and Amaechi finished with a season-high 12 points, seven more than his previous high.

    Utah took a 95-94 lead when Amaechi, who was fouled by Vlade Divac, hit both free throws with 20.1 seconds to play. But Webber drew a a foul with 8.5 seconds left and hit both free throws to put Sacramento up 96-95.

    "Plays are going back and forth and you were wondering whether someone was going to win the game or not,'' Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "Fortunately, Webb made the free throws at the end.''

    Stockton had 13 points and Karl Malone finished with 12 points for the Jazz, who haven't beaten the Kings in a regular season game since February 2001.

    "This is one we should have won,'' Malone said.

    Game notes

    Sacramento's Hedo Turkoglu returned to the lineup after being out since Nov. 27 with a sprained wrist. He was scoreless in 14 minutes. ... Harpring gave the Jazz a 51-49 when he grabbed an airball by Malone and put it in just before the buzzer. The play was reviewed and stood. ... The Jazz were 13-for-20 from the floor in the second quarter. ... Stockton missed the last half of the third quarter with cut above his left eye after taking an elbow to the head. The elbow came accidentally from Malone, who was stealing the ball from Divac.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 98 96
    FGM-FGA 33-72 (.458) 37-86 (.430)
    3PM-3PA 8-16 (.500) 4-8 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 24-28 (.857) 18-26 (.692)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-40 17-49
    Assists 23 19
    Turnovers 14 14
    Steals 9 9
    Blocks 6 5
    Fast Break Points 6 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (2/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Chris Webber Webber
    Points: 27
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 3
    Andrei Kirilenko Kirilenko
    Points: 18
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3