SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- After seeing so many hasty coaching
changes in the NBA this season, Rick Adelman is even more
appreciative of his opportunity to keep piling up wins with the
Kenny Thomas had 24 points and nine rebounds in his best game in
Sacramento, and Adelman got his 700th career victory against his
former team in the Kings' 112-93 win over the Portland Trail
Blazers on Tuesday night.
Adelman became the 15th NBA coach to reach the milestone as
Sacramento routed the Blazers, who have employed him as a player
and a coach. He led Portland to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992,
and he has directed the Kings to seven straight winning seasons.
"Each time one of these happens, you appreciate it more,"
Adelman said. "When you look back, you know how much effort went
into it, and you know the people around you -- the coaching staff,
the players, your own wife and family. It just shows that there's a
longevity there, and it's worthwhile to get one of these."
Peja Stojakovic scored 23 points and Cuttino Mobley added 19 for
the Kings, who sent the freefalling Blazers to their sixth straight
loss while improving to 8-7 since trading Chris Webber during an
adjustment period that could be a threat to a coach's livelihood in
After seeing nine NBA coaching changes this season -- four in
March alone -- Adelman is well aware that many other clubs show none
of the Kings' patience.
"I've never seen a situation where so many teams are fighting
for the playoffs, and the solution with 14 games to go is to fire
the coach," Adelman said. "I feel very fortunate to be in the
situation I'm in."
Perhaps that's because he's able to coax efforts like this one
out of his much-changed roster. Mike Bibby had 12 points and 10
assists while leading an efficient offense for the Kings, who had
28 total assists and four turnovers, tying the lowest total in the
NBA this season.
It was an appropriate performance for a milestone win for the
offense-loving coach. Only Larry Brown (975), Jerry Sloan (938) and
George Karl (727) have more victories among the league's active
"That's a good accomplishment, and I'm happy for him," Bibby
said. "We have a lot more to go. We're going to try to add to that
Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 27 points, and Joel Przybilla had 13
points, 21 rebounds and a career-high eight blocked shots for the
Trail Blazers, who lost focus for long stretches of their eighth
straight road defeat.
Damon Stoudamire had 25 points and a season-high 11 rebounds,
but Portland made 21 turnovers and got no steals in its 10th loss
in 11 games since interim coach Kevin Pritchard took over for
Maurice Cheeks. Portland has lost 17 of 20 overall.
"If you don't compete, if you don't fight, you're not going to
have no kind of chance," Abdur-Rahim said. "So we've got to keep
competing and fighting and pulling for each other."
Sacramento is clinging to fifth place in the Western Conference
standings despite its usual late-season rash of injury problems --
which now might include Darius Songaila, who didn't return after
hurting his back in the second quarter.
Sacramento never trailed after the opening minute despite an
impressive game for Przybilla, who dominated the paint and fell
just short of his career high of 22 rebounds.
"I had my breakout game in my first game (in Sacramento), but
it's kind of a confidence-booster," Przybilla said. "But if we
got the victory, I could care less about the numbers. I just want
to get that win. We've been struggling, and we've got a lot of work
ahead of us."
But then Songaila went to the locker room with a pulled muscle
in his back after falling to the court when Przybilla blocked his
dunk attempt. Adelman got a technical foul for demanding a foul on
the play, but Przybilla's block appeared to be clean.
Songaila has a sore back and a sore right elbow from the fall,
but the team expects him to play Thursday against Dallas.
Stojakovic hit two 3-pointers, though he also airballed two
other attempts in the third quarter. "I'm inconsistent. I'm not
happy with my game. I know I can do better," he said. ... Kings G
Bobby Jackson participated in the pregame shootaround while wearing
a support brace on his left wrist. Jackson, who hasn't played since
Dec. 21 because of a torn ligament, still hopes to return for the
playoffs. ... John Wetzel, Adelman's longtime assistant coach who
retired before the season, watched the game from courtside. "It
was nice to have him here, but half court? The Maloof seats?"
Adelman asked. "I don't know if he's that important."