Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 3/6

Game 1: Sunday, March 6th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 30th

Pistons 85

(36-22, 16-15 away)

Kings 100

(37-24, 21-8 home)

12:30 PM ET, March 6, 2005

Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

1 2 3 4 T
DET 16 30 17 2285
SAC 20 35 19 26100

Top Performers

Det: R. Wallace 19 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

Sac: M. Bibby 19 Pts, 5 Reb, 11 Ast, 2 Stl

Kings play at home for first time sans Webber

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The Sacramento Kings still need more time to get used to their new teammates. Their fans already love this new look, however -- and the defending NBA champions were impressed, too.

Mike Bibby had 19 points and 11 assists, Kenny Thomas added 19 points and Sacramento beat the Detroit Pistons 100-85 Sunday in the Kings' first home game since Chris Webber's departure.

Peja Stojakovic and Darius Songaila scored 14 points apiece for the Kings, who embarked on a six-game road trip the day Webber was traded to Philadelphia nearly two weeks ago along with two reserves for Thomas, Corliss Williamson and Brian Skinner.

The Kings lost the final three games of the trip -- and to make things a little more difficult in their homecoming, starters Brad Miller and Cuttino Mobley sat out with injuries.

The remaining Kings had trouble getting into the proper rhythm on the club's trademark swaying-circle dance during pregame introductions. They eventually found the beat -- and on the court, they barely missed a step in a one-sided victory over road-weary Detroit.

"It's a different story now," said Stojakovic, still getting back into shape after missing most of the last month with a hamstring injury. "We've got new guys, other injured guys, but overall, we're having a good effort. Defensively and on the boards, the new guys did a good job."

Each of the three forwards acquired for Webber aided the win. Thomas went 8-for-13, driving aggressively and grabbing 10 rebounds, while Williamson and Skinner -- who had 12 points and 12 rebounds -- provided tough defense as Sacramento pulled away in the fourth quarter.

After just 10 days with the Kings, they're already enjoying the fluid passing and motion of coach Rick Adelman's offense.

"I'm kind of used to one person dribbling around with the ball all the time," said Thomas, who struggled in his only season as Allen Iverson's teammate. "It just feels really good to be here and get back to playing basketball and getting easy baskets."

Rasheed Wallace had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who finished a six-game road trip with consecutive losses to Phoenix, Seattle and Sacramento. The champions never led while missing a season-worst 13 of 24 free throws and struggling for open shots.

"You can't keep coming back, coming back on the road," said Detroit coach Larry Brown, whose team has never rallied to win from a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit in 28 games the last two seasons. "Every time we made a run, we just had some real bad decisions and some real bad shots and gave them life."

Richard Hamilton had 14 points and six assists despite foul trouble, but Sacramento made a 20-7 run in the fourth quarter of its eighth straight home victory over Detroit. After an eight-game winning streak followed by three straight losses to three of the Western Conference's top five teams, the Pistons headed home angry at themselves.

"I wouldn't believe we would go 3-3 on this trip," said Tayshaun Prince, who had 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists. "Today we played like we were ready to go home before the game even started. We took a couple of steps back this game, which we didn't want to do."

After playing just one home game in 22 days, the Kings play eight of their next 10 at Arco Arena -- and they won't leave California again until March 26. If the Kings still have hopes of catching Phoenix in the Pacific Division, they must establish chemistry with their new arrivals and make a move soon.

Webber was beloved during his 6½ seasons in Sacramento, but the franchise is doing its best to move on: Webber's picture already has been replaced by a photo of Sacramento Monarchs star Ticha Penicheiro on a five-paneled billboard on the side of an arena that was adorned with a massive banner reading "C-Webb's House" a few years ago.

The new Kings got big ovations during pregame warmups, and Sacramento took a 16-point lead early in the second quarter with a 13-0 run. Thomas scored 13 points in the quarter.

Bibby and Stojakovic were a combined 6-for-26 midway through the fourth quarter, and Stojakovic somehow managed to miss three layups in the second half. But the Kings held on with a balanced effort, including 12 points and a career-high nine rebounds for Maurice Evans.

Game notes

Songaila started in Webber's spot, but spent the game in foul trouble. ... Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly sat next to Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof at courtside. ... Miller missed his fourth straight game with a bruised calf, while Mobley was out with a strained lower back.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 85 100
FGM-FGA 34-87 (.391) 41-83 (.494)
3PM-3PA 6-16 (.375) 6-11 (.545)
FTM-FTA 11-24 (.458) 12-13 (.923)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-45 11-46
Assists 26 25
Turnovers 15 15
Steals 8 8
Blocks 5 6
Fast Break Points 12 11
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
Largest Lead 0 18

Top Performers

Rasheed Wallace Wallace
Points: 19
Reb: 10
Ast: 1
Stl: 1
Blk: 3
Mike Bibby Bibby
Points: 19
Reb: 5
Ast: 11
Stl: 2
Blk: 0