Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/7

Game 1: Tuesday, December 7th
Game 2: Tuesday, March 1st

Bobcats 92

(4-12, 0-8 away)

Kings 109

(13-5, 9-1 home)

Coverage: CSNS

7:00 PM ET, December 7, 2004

Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

1 2 3 4 T
CHA 28 20 21 2392
SAC 22 33 30 24109

Top Performers

Charlotte: B. Knight 14 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

Sacramento: P. Stojakovic 30 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

Miller adds 27 in Sacramento's fifth straight win

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The Sacramento Kings excelled without Chris Webber for most of last season, so it wasn't tough for Peja Stojakovic and Brad Miller to remember how it's done.

Stojakovic had season highs of 30 points and 12 rebounds, and Miller scored a season-high 27 points in the Kings' 12th victory in 13 games, 109-92 over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night.

Webber sat out for the first time this season to rest his sore left knee. He is expected back for Friday's game at Minnesota.

With Stojakovic and Miller leading the way, the Kings were one of the NBA's elite teams last season while Webber recovered from surgery to repair torn ligaments in the knee, which he hurt during a playoff game in May 2003.

"The guys who have played without (Webber) knew what to do," Miller said. "Peja got a lot of rebounds and stepped up his offense, Darius (Songaila) made a lot of great plays ... and I shot a lot of free throws."

Miller went 15-for-18 from the free throw line, and Songaila matched his career high with 17 points and 11 rebounds in Sacramento's fifth straight win. Stojakovic hit three 3-pointers -- and one game after his streak of 36 straight free throws ended, he went 9-for-9 from the line.

"We missed Chris, but it's good for everybody to take more responsibility," Stojakovic said. "We did a pretty good job defensively and on the boards."

Bobby Jackson scored 16 points for the Kings, who took charge early in their first meeting with the expansion Bobcats. Sacramento had a 15-0 run spanning halftime and easily held on for its ninth win in 10 home games this season.

New acquisition Kareem Rush scored 14 points in his debut with the Bobcats, who kept it close despite having just nine players in uniform one night after a double-overtime loss to the Clippers.

"We just don't have many choices right now," said Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who got a technical foul in the closing minutes while complaining about the Kings' 34-18 advantage in free throws. "We've got to get some bodies back. Especially after playing two overtimes last night, I had some concerns. The effort is there. We just need to get some guys back."

Starting center Primoz Brezec sat out with a sprained right ankle, but six Bobcats scored in double figures in the second game of the franchise's first West Coast road swing. Emeka Okafor had 10 points and 15 rebounds, Steve Smith scored 16 points and Brevin Knight added 14.

"It's not easy right now, but you just have to make the best of the situation," Okafor said. "Hopefully we'll get some guys back soon, and that will take the load off."

Rush hit his first jumper in orange and looked comfortable in the Bobcats' up-tempo offense. Charlotte gave two second-round draft choices to the Lakers for Rush's smooth outside shot -- and with his new team short-handed, Rush ended up playing 27 minutes without knowing many of the plays.

The Kings have lost just once in four weeks -- but they haven't been able to gain any ground on the Pacific Division-leading Phoenix Suns, who also have won 12 of 13.

Greg Ostertag took Webber's starting spot, but Songaila provided his usual burst of energy in his most extensive playing time of the season.

"Chris got a chance to rest, and at the same time, it gave everyone else a chance to be on the floor a little bit more," Songaila said.

Game notes

Sacramento is 49-2 at home against Eastern Conference teams over the last four seasons. ... Bobcats F Gerald Wallace, who spent his first three NBA seasons as a fan favorite with the Kings before leaving in the expansion draft, missed his third straight game with a concussion. ... Okafor airballed a free throw in the fourth quarter.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 92 109
FGM-FGA 38-99 (.384) 36-81 (.444)
3PM-3PA 4-19 (.211) 7-18 (.389)
FTM-FTA 12-18 (.667) 30-34 (.882)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 19-45 13-53
Assists 16 25
Turnovers 10 17
Steals 7 5
Blocks 6 4
Fast Break Points 15 6
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (1/0) 18 (0/0)
Largest Lead 8 21

Top Performers

Brevin Knight Knight
Points: 14
Reb: 3
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
Points: 30
Reb: 12
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 0