CHICAGO (AP) -- The weary Sacramento Kings were down to eight
players and their top scorer, Peja Stojakovic, didn't get a single
point in the final quarter.
Still, they had enough left to beat the Chicago Bulls on Friday
"We all understand that we have to be more aggressive and have
to do more things now," Stojakovic said after the Kings held on to
beat the Chicago Bulls 91-83.
Their bench already thinned by an injury to Brad Miller and the
suspension of Chris Webber, the Kings lost top reserve guard Bobby Jackson late in the first half with an abdominal strain.
Jackson was hurt after being hit by Marcus Fizer while driving
to the basket with just under four minutes left in the first half.
After making two free throws, Jackson walked gingerly to the
bench and then went the locker room and did not return for the
second half. And with Tony Massenburg out with food poisoning, the
Kings -- coming off a loss Thursday night in Minnesota -- played the
second half with just eight available players.
"Right now we are playing without Brad and Chris and we lost
Bobby in the first half and it was difficult," Stojakovic said
after finishing with 24 points, 13 in the third quarter but none in
the fourth. "We kept losing guys."
Jackson's injury is the same as one he had earlier this month
that forced him to miss three games.
"It's hard because he is the guy who brings energy off the
bench," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "We have to figure out how
serious it is since it's the second time he's done it. We need to
be real cautious for when we bring him back."
Bibby added 17 points for the Kings, who made 12 of 22
3-pointers -- five by Stojakovic.
Jamal Crawford led Chicago with 23 points and Eddie Robinson
added 16. Kirk Hinrich had 15 points and 10 assists, but the Bulls
were foiled in their attempt to win three in a row for the first
time this season.
"We did not want to give Stojakovic anything," Crawford said
of the fourth quarter when the Kings star missed the four shots he
attempted. "At the end we wanted someone else to beat us and Bibby
Chicago got to within one in the final period on Crawford's
3-pointer before Anthony Peeler hit a basket and Divac made a
jumper -- just his second basket of the game. Divac then came up
with a loose ball and hit a free throw to make it a four-point
Christie and Bibby later hit back-to-back jumpers, giving
Sacramento an 87-81 lead with 1:21 left, and Songaila sealed the
win by making a follow shot with 26 seconds left. He finished with
10 points and 11 rebounds.
Sacramento, the NBA's best 3-point shooting team, went 8-for-15
in the first half to take a 49-44 lead. Crawford kept the Bulls
close by scoring 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting.
Stojakovic hit two more 3-pointers and another basket from close
in as the Kings pushed their advantage to 12 midway through the
third. But then the Bulls went on 12-2 run to slice the lead to two
with a quarter left.
Miller, who sprained his right foot in the All-Star game,
missed his third straight game. But he was able to test the injury
by participating in some pregame shooting. ... With a roster spot
open, the Bulls could activate Kendall Gill this weekend, coach
Scott Skiles said. Gill has been on the injured list since Jan. 25
with a strained Achilles' tendon. ... The shot clock above the
basket at the east end of the floor -- where the Bulls were shooting
in the first half -- malfunctioned two minutes into the game. After
a brief delay, it was replaced by a smaller floor model. The main
clock was back working by the start of the second half. ... Chicago
reserve Chris Jefferies didn't dress because of lower back pain.