Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Saturday, November 13th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 8th
Game 3: Saturday, April 16th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 20th

Suns 107

(62-20, 31-10 away)

Kings 132

(50-32, 30-11 home)

    Coverage: KXTV

    7:30 PM ET, April 20, 2005

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 28 30 29 20107
    SAC 36 36 28 32132

    Top Performers

    PHX: A. Stoudemire 30 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Blk

    Sac: E. House 17 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Blk

    Eight Kings score double figures; Suns' 5-game run ends

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- While the Suns and the Kings wrapped up their seasons, Bobby Jackson was just getting started on a comeback he hopes will last all spring.

    Jackson had 15 points, six rebounds and five assists in his first game in four months, and Sacramento clinched its fifth consecutive 50-win season with a 132-107 victory over Phoenix on Wednesday night.

    A mostly meaningless game was a landmark occasion for Jackson, the sparkplug guard who hasn't been able to shake constant injury troubles in recent years. Activated from the injured list before the game, he made his first appearance since Dec. 21, when he was sidelined with torn ligaments in his left wrist.

    And from the first time he drove the lane and crashed to the floor in his inimitably reckless style, Jackson was back -- and the Kings had reason to hope their tumultuous season will improve in the playoffs. Jackson, a longtime fan favorite, got several raucous ovations from a crowd with the same dreams.

    "I couldn't believe how loud it was tonight," Jackson said. "It gave me butterflies. It gave me chills. This is what I thrive off. I felt like Superman, the way they were cheering me."

    Darius Songaila, Cuttino Mobley and Corliss Williamson scored 19 points apiece to lead eight Kings scoring in double figures as Sacramento snapped the Suns' five-game winning streak and split the season series.

    Despite a midseason roster overhaul and the Kings' usual litany of injuries, they finished 50-32 in their seventh straight playoff season under coach Rick Adelman -- the longest stretch of sustained winning in the history of one of the NBA's original franchises.

    "This was a hard 50," Adelman said. "A lot of things went on. A lot of things could have gone the other way, and this team didn't let it happen. I think 50 wins means something, even to the guys who haven't been here."

    Amare Stoudemire had 30 points and 11 rebounds while curiously playing 31 minutes in a meaningless game for the Suns, who already clinched the NBA's best record. Joe Johnson scored 19 points and Quentin Richardson added 17 -- including five 3-pointers -- as Phoenix finished its remarkable season tied with the 1992-93 team for the best record in franchise history (62-20).

    "I played it like a normal game," said Stoudemire, who threw down his usual handful of vicious dunks. "I try to approach every game with the same intensity. I wanted to win. I wanted to be a part of history, but we tied it, so it feels good."

    The Suns' 33-game improvement on last season's record is the third-biggest turnaround in league history.

    Though several regulars rested or played reduced minutes, the NBA's two highest-scoring teams still lived up to their reputations. Sacramento had its most prolific game of the season with a season-high 51 field goals and 12 3-pointers, including three each by Jackson and Eddie House.

    Both clubs already were locked into playoff spots. The Suns, who have home-court advantage throughout the postseason, will host Memphis on Sunday, while the sixth-seeded Kings visit Seattle on Saturday night.

    While Jackson used the game to get in shape for the playoffs, star point guards Mike Bibby of Sacramento and Steve Nash of Phoenix both sat out with minor injuries to rest up for the weekend.

    The Kings also played without Peja Stojakovic, who spent a one-game stint on the injured list with a strained groin. Brian Skinner, the Kings' starting center, left the game late in the first quarter with a sprained right foot.

    Jackson had four points, two rebounds and two assists during a 9-0 run shortly after he entered the game. In the closing seconds of the first half, he corralled a loose ball and made a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds to play, drawing chants of "Bobby! Bobby!" from the rafters.

    He scored his 15 points in 16 minutes.

    "If I can just get my legs back, I'm going to be able to do some stuff," he said with a grin.

    Game notes

    Adelman didn't know the extent of Skinner's injury. ... Nash wrapped up his NBA assists crown with 11.5 per game -- the league's highest average since John Stockton had 12.3 in 1994-95. ... Only the San Antonio Spurs ever made bigger one-season turnarounds than the Suns. The Spurs improved by 36 games in 1997-98, and by 35 games in 1989-90.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 107 132
    FGM-FGA 38-88 (.432) 51-98 (.520)
    3PM-3PA 12-30 (.400) 12-24 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 19-24 (.792) 18-21 (.857)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-41 15-55
    Assists 17 33
    Turnovers 17 12
    Steals 7 5
    Blocks 5 5
    Fast Break Points 22 17
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 17 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 8 25

    Top Performers

    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 30
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3
    Eddie House House
    Points: 17
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1