SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- After a terrible road trip, the
Sacramento Kings got just what they needed -- a home date with an
Eastern Conference team.
Mike Bibby had a season-high 23 points and five assists and the
Kings snapped Detroit's five-game winning streak, beating the
cold-shooting Pistons 97-91 Tuesday night.
The Kings, coming off a 1-3 road trip, overcame a sluggish
fourth quarter to beat Detroit for the seventh straight time at
Arco Arena and ninth out of 10 as they begin a stretch with 11 of
13 home games, including an eight-game homestand.
Vlade Divac made four straight free throws to make it 88-87 with
3:07 to play and break a three-minute scoreless drought by the
Kings, who briefly fell behind for the first time since the opening
minutes. They shot 48.1 percent to 39.7 percent by the Pistons.
Sacramento has won 20 straight at home against the East and 32
of its last 33.
Divac finished with 13 points, nine assists and five rebounds,
sparking the Kings late.
"We let the lead slip away," Sacramento's Doug Christie said.
"We really can't say enough about Vlade, the way he handles
himself -- he can pass, dribble, and make big plays down the
Bobby Jackson added 16 points and Christie had 14 points and
eight rebounds for the Kings, who held Detroit to a
franchise-opponent-low nine assists. Three others also scored in
double digits for Sacramento.
Corliss Williamson scored at 5:16 to put the Pistons up 85-84 as
they fought their way back from a 15-point deficit, but they
couldn't hit the big shots down the stretch.
"I was disappointed the whole game," Pistons coach Larry Brown
said. "One assist in the first half. We never passed the ball.
When you have nine assists, it's a poor endorsement of our game.
And it's a miracle we're still in the game with three minutes to
Richard Hamilton had 19 points to lead six players in double
figures for Detroit, which began a four-game West Coast swing that
includes games at Golden State, the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix.
The Pistons play nine of 13 games away from the Palace of Auburn
They played without leading rebounder Ben Wallace because of a
severely sprained left ankle. Wallace, averaging 11 points and 14.7
rebounds, hurt his ankle Friday against Milwaukee, then
reaggravated it Sunday against New Jersey and told coach Brown he
was in too much pain to play. Wallace stood flat-footed as he took
shots before the game, making sure not to put pressure on the foot.
The Kings were whistled for their third technical of the game
with 5:57 left when Brad Miller argued with official Bernie Fryar.
Miller made up for it with a three-point play with 2:31 left to
make it 91-89 and also pulled down several timely rebounds.
The Kings led by 15 in the third quarter but couldn't hold the
"We just made some mental mistakes that we shouldn't make, and
if we're going to get better and start winning games on the road as
well as home, we've got to defend better," Kings coach Rick
Jackson hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the second quarter to
help the Kings build a 34-23 lead, their biggest of the half. They
shot 51.2 percent on the way to a 50-43 halftime lead.
Sacramento was whistled for two technicals in a 34-second span --
one on Divac for arguing a foul call and the other on Adelman,
though it appeared Adelman hadn't said anything. Adelman told the
officials a fan had hollered something right behind him. Both
technicals were called by Tony Brothers.
"We get no respect," Divac said. "That's why we can't win a
championship in Sacramento."
The Pistons shot just 26.9 percent in the first quarter, but
trailed only 22-17 thanks to nine offensive rebounds that led to
seven second-chance points.
Detroit had one assist in the first half to 13 for Sacramento.
Brown knew Wallace had to be really hurting -- because
Wallace is always willing to play through pain. "It's not a knock
on some guys, but certain guys can't play with pain," Brown said.
"They just can't do it. Others, their pain tolerance is
incredible." ... The Kings haven't lost to the Pistons at home
since Feb. 26, 1996. ... Kings F Peja Stojakovic had his first
double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. ...
Oakland Raiders left guard Frank Middleton attended the game.