Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/1

Game 1: Saturday, November 1st
Game 2: Sunday, January 11th
Game 3: Sunday, February 8th
Game 4: Monday, April 12th

Nuggets 106


Kings 117

(26-9, 19-2 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    6:00 PM ET, January 11, 2004

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 27 23 34 22106
    SAC 29 28 32 28117

    Top Performers

    Den: A. Miller 30 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast

    Sac: P. Stojakovic 33 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Stojakovic scores 33 in victory

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- No matter what offensive feat the Denver Nuggets performed, Peja Stojakovic and the Sacramento Kings outdid them.

    So the Nuggets had to settle for plenty of respect from the Kings, who needed every bit of their offensive prowess in a tense victory.

    Stojakovic had 33 points and eight rebounds, and Mike Bibby scored 18 points in the Kings' 14th straight home victory over Denver, 117-106 on Sunday night.

    Until Stojakovic ended a string of five straight misses by hitting a dramatic 3-pointer with 55 seconds left, the Nuggets seemed to be a few shots away from stealing a victory in the NBA's toughest road arena. Denver handily outrebounded the Kings and got tremendous performances from Andre Miller and rookie Carmelo Anthony.

    Count the Kings among those who believe the Nuggets are for real -- and not just because of Denver's win over Sacramento two months ago.

    "It was a shootout, a great game," Stojakovic said. "They're a good team. They're going to get a playoff spot, I think. It's a lot different from playing them last year."

    The Kings, who lead the league in points per game, had to rely on offense: They scored at least 105 points for the fifth time in six games, and Denver's defense couldn't catch up.

    "They have the best record in the league and they're No. 1 and No. 2 in every offensive category -- and yet we were still right there," Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We're young. Go down the list, this is a young basketball team. But we keep learning. This was an education for us."

    Brad Miller scored 14 points before getting ejected with 7:03 left, and Bobby Jackson scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Kings hung on for their sixth win in seven games.

    Andre Miller scored a season-high 30 points and Anthony had 22 points and 12 rebounds -- and seven turnovers -- in his first visit to Sacramento. Nene nearly reached his career high with 20 points, but Denver couldn't stop Sacramento's relentless offense long enough to get closer than four points in the fourth quarter.

    "We hung in there, but then, all we really did was (score in) spurts," said Andre Miller, who was 11-of-17. "They were big spurts, but they just ran away with the game. It's hard to stay in it when you have their crowd into it."

    Stojakovic, the NBA's second-leading scorer, had another strong shooting game to lead six Kings in double figures.

    He also showcased his growing hunger for taking big shots. After Denver cut the Kings' lead to 111-106 in the final minutes, Stojakovic held the ball on the right wing for what seemed to be an eternity before hitting a long 3-pointer.

    "I either had to shoot the ball or throw it out of bounds, so I decided to shoot," Stojakovic said with a grin.

    Tony Massenburg added 14 points for the Kings, making his final six shots to lead Sacramento's fourth-quarter effort along with Jackson.

    "It's a good win, but we weren't consistent," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "We did a good job at times tonight, and then we'd give them four or five easy baskets. ... (The Nuggets) are going to be there at the end. They had a lot of confidence against us. I can't see them going away. I just see them getting better."

    In front of the 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Arco Arena, Miller got one technical foul in the third quarter and another in the fourth from whistle-happy referee Marc Davis, who also called a fourth-quarter technical on Andre Miller while the Denver guard wasn't even in the game.

    Incensed when he didn't get a foul call while scoring a rebound basket, Brad Miller gestured emphatically in Davis' direction to draw his ejection. Miller then shouted at Davis and threw his headband into the crowd before heading to the locker room.

    The Kings extended their Pacific Division lead to a season-high three games over the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Game notes

    Sacramento's sellout streak is the longest in the NBA. ... Anthony and Kings assistant coach Pete Carril were among those who chuckled during a strange doo-wop rendition of the national anthem by a local music group. ... Bibby banked in a long 3-pointer from straightaway at the halftime buzzer to give Sacramento a 57-50 lead. ... Andre Miller, whose vertical leap is decidedly unimpressive, got a rare dunk on a breakaway in the second quarter.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 106 117
    FGM-FGA 42-82 (.512) 43-79 (.544)
    3PM-3PA 2-10 (.200) 7-18 (.389)
    FTM-FTA 20-27 (.741) 24-30 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-41 8-31
    Assists 14 22
    Turnovers 21 14
    Steals 10 14
    Blocks 2 3
    Fast Break Points 5 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (1/0) 21 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Andre Miller Miller
    Points: 30
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
    Points: 33
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0