SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Sacramento has picked up a few things
since losing to Utah in the opening round of the 1999 playoffs.
The Kings continued to dominate the Jazz despite blowing a
six-point lead at the end of regulation and held on for a 108-105
overtime win Friday, Sacramento's sixth in the last seven regular
season meetings against Utah.
"They broke our hearts in the playoffs that first time," said
Chris Webber, who had 24 points and 15 rebounds Friday. "We
learned a lot from this team. We studied this team and in many ways
we imitate this team. We just try to be as professional as they
Peja Stojakovic scored seven of his 19 points in overtime for
the Kings, who also knocked Utah out of the playoffs in the first
round last spring.
Mike Bibby also scored 24, including four straight free throws
in the final 18.2 seconds that sealed it. The Kings scored the
first seven points of overtime and held on for their third straight
win and ninth in their last 11.
The Kings, who swept the Jazz last season, shot 53 percent
(44-for-83) and were 3-for-5 from the floor in the overtime.
"Every time we play here it's an even better game," Stojakovic
said. "They're a really tough team to beat."
Karl Malone led the Jazz in scoring for the 10th straight game
with 25 points, but scored just two points after forcing overtime
on two free throws with 4.7 seconds left.
John Stockton added 20 points and 10 assists for Utah, which got
15 shots off in overtime but made just four of them.
"Losing's just bad, no matter what way you look at it," said
Stockton, who was 8-for-13. "It still feels the same."
DeShawn Stevenson, averaging just 5.0 points, had his third
straight game in double figures with 15 points for the Jazz. Andrei
Kirilenko added 13 points and 10 rebounds and Greg Ostertag, who
turned 30 on Thursday, had 11 rebounds for Utah, which split a
two-game homestand and plays its next five on the road starting
Saturday night in Dallas.
"Tonight we were trying to be aggressive in every moment,"
Kirilenko said. "It was a little bit not our time in the end."
The Jazz outscored the Kings 7-1 at the end of regulation, but
didn't have enough to rally again after Sacramento scored the first
seven points of overtime.
"We've had a lot of tough games," Bibby said. "But I think
it's going to help us in the playoffs when it comes down to games
Webber hit the first field goal of overtime and Stojakovic
followed with a 3-pointer, two free throws and another jumper that
put the Kings up 102-95. Utah cut it to 104-102 on a layup by
Malone, but the Jazz had to foul and Bibby went 4-for-4 from the
"I went to the line thinking 'I'm going to make these two so we
can get out of here,'" Bibby said. "Missing them was not in my
mind. And the mind is a strong thing."
The Jazz forced overtime by getting the ball down low to Malone,
who was fouled by Christie with 4.7 seconds left. Malone was
perfect from the line, swishing both shots, and the Jazz had a
chance to win it when Kirilenko made a steal and got off a
3-pointer that nearly went in.
Utah's Matt Harpring, who returned after missing two straight
games with a sprained ankle, scored just four points -- 14 below his
Bibby scored the Kings' first six points and had 10 in the
first quarter. ... Sacramento made 10 of its first 15 shots and led
27-26 after one. ... Stockton had one rebound in the first quarter,
giving him 4,000 in his career. ... It was the Kings' first game in
Utah since they won on a disputed foul call at the end of a 98-96
win on Dec. 14, when the Delta Center crowd pelted the floor with
debris from the stands. The fans hadn't forgotten and began booing
Sacramento before the introductions had begun.