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Sacramento 90, Miami 86

1/14/2004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Brad Miller leaned back in his locker
and quietly admitted that sometimes the Sacramento Kings just get
bored.

It showed Tuesday night, yet they still won.

Peja Stojakovic scored 14 of his 24 points in the first quarter
and Sacramento won its fifth straight at home, 90-86 over the Miami
Heat.

"Sometimes it seems like we're the best-record team and a great
team and we get bored sometimes," said Miller, who fell one
rebound short of his 12th double-double in 15 games.

"We've got to keep punishing people. We've got to keep playing.
It's just a fun environment out there. We play like the old teams,
but that's what gets us in trouble sometimes."

Miller finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Mike Bibby added 20 points for the NBA-leading Kings, including a
clutch 3-pointer with 18 seconds left. Sacramento beat an Eastern
Conference opponent at Arco Arena for the 27th straight time.

After Bibby's big shot, the sellout crowd began chanting, "Beat
L.A.! Beat L.A.!," referring to the Kings' final game of this
three-game homestand Friday against the Lakers.

"I just feel we were really lucky to win that game," Kings
coach Rick Adelman said. "We got 18 up or whatever, it was at the
start of the third quarter and just stopped playing. I don't know
why. We just didn't defend anybody in the third quarter."

Miami's Lamar Odom recorded his fifth straight double-double and
18th of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead five Heat
players in double figures. But Odom missed several minutes late in
the game after cutting his chin, and he needed eight stitches
before returning. He wasn't sure who hit him under the basket.

"We actually played pretty well in that stretch, so I guess
some people would say that didn't affect us, but it really does,"
Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Obviously you don't want to go
down the stretch without one of your best players."

Eddie Jones added 18 points for Miami, which went hard to the
boards for a 46-30 rebounding edge, including 19 on the offensive
end.

This one didn't come easy for the Kings, who often have played
brilliantly for two or three quarters before lapsing.

Bibby agrees with Miller that the team often loses its focus
with a big lead.

"People have a hard time keeping their attention," he said.
"It's like that in practice. We're having fun out there, but
there's the tendency to have too much fun. Stuff like that we make
up for in other ways."

Udonis Haslem, activated from the injured list earlier in the
day, converted a three-point play with 8:08 left and Caron Butler
scored the next time down the floor to pull the Heat to 76-73.
Rafer Alston's two free throws with 4:40 left tied the game at 79,
but the Kings held on.

After shooting 65.6 percent in the first half, Sacramento missed
many easy shots and made some questionable decisions with the ball
to allow the Heat to come back from 18 down.

The Kings, a league-best 20-2 at home, had a sluggish third
quarter in which they shot 6-of-16. Jones made a driving layup to
pull Miami to 70-64.

"The only thing you can build off of is when you win," Jones
said. "Yeah, we played hard. You take that to the next game, but
we've just got to play harder."

The Kings shot 66.7 percent (12-for-18) in the first quarter and
finished the half 21-of-32 for a 52-41 halftime edge.

Miami is 4-12 against the Western Conference, including 1-10 on
the road.

Game notes
Along with activating Haslem, the Heat placed F Samaki
Walker on the injured list because of bone spurs in his right
ankle. Haslem missed seven games with a sprained right knee and
strained knee ligament. The rookie had started 18 of Miami's first
30 games, averaging 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds. Walker is
averaging 3.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20 games. ... Sacramento F
Gerald Wallace rejoined the team after missing two games because of
a death in the family. ... The Kings haven't lost to the Heat at
home since a 107-97 defeat on Dec. 10, 1999. ... Miami's Malik
Allen had a season-high seven rebounds. ... Neither team has
reached 100 points in the last five meetings.