Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/6

Game 1: Tuesday, December 6th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 1st

Kings 97

(27-30, 8-19 away)

Cavaliers 90

(32-26, 20-10 home)

Coverage: KXTV

7:00 PM ET, March 1, 2006

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

1 2 3 4 T
SAC 18 25 35 1997
CLE 29 18 26 1790

Top Performers

Sacramento: K. Thomas 22 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Cleveland: L. James 19 Pts, 7 Reb, 12 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

Kings hand Cavs fifth straight loss

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The second-half collapse that doomed the Cleveland Cavaliers last season is threatening to repeat itself.

Kenny Thomas scored 22 points and Mike Bibby added 16 Wednesday night to lead the Sacramento Kings over Cleveland 97-90, the Cavaliers' fifth straight loss.

Cleveland's slump is similar to last season's, when the Cavs won their first game after the All-Star break but then lost six straight. It marked the beginning of a collapse that caused them to miss the playoffs by a game.

"Right now, it's all, 'Here we go again,'" Cavaliers forward Donyell Marshall said. "Obviously, with the talk of last year, we try not to let that affect us, but I think it's affecting us right now."

The Kings have won eight of their last 11 and are 9-6 since Ron Artest was acquired from Indiana.

Artest again caused problems for LeBron James, who shot 7-for-21 and was held to 19 points, well below his 30.8 average. James also had 12 assists and seven rebounds.

"It's not what we did to LeBron, it's what we did to their team," Artest said.

Artest held James to 19 points on 6-of-20 shooting the last time they faced each other Nov. 24 in Indiana's 98-76 victory over Cleveland.

"Ron made James work for the shots he got," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "One thing Ron makes guys do is work for every shot. We always wanted someone in his way. He's a great player but we didn't want him to get to the basket -- we wanted other people to beat us."

The Kings, who are 8-20 on the road, took their first lead since the first quarter on Thomas' pair of free throws with 7:01 left in the third quarter.

Sacramento scored 35 points in the third quarter, which tied a season high for points allowed by the Cavaliers.

"We gave them the confidence instead of coming out in the third quarter and sticking it to them," Marshall said.

The Cavaliers tied it at 80 on Damon Jones' 3-pointer with 9:42 left and took the lead a play later on Ronald Murray's jumper in the lane.

Brad Miller and Kevin Martin responded with 3-pointers for the Kings and Miller added two free throws to make it 90-84 with 5:04 left. Sacramento was 14-of-14 from the line.

The Cavaliers pulled within two on layups from Anderson Varejao and Murray. But the Kings got a 3-pointer from Bibby and a jumper from Miller, while stopping Cleveland on four straight possessions, including Artest's block on Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

"We stayed mentally tough the whole game. That was the best feeling," Artest said.

Sacramento used only seven players and each scored in double figures. Miller scored 15 while Artest and Martin had 11. Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Francisco Garcia also contributed 11 off the bench. Bibby added 12 assists.

Adelman said the win was an important way for the Kings, who had won only two of their last 11 road games, to start their five-game trip.

"We came in here and got a huge win," Thomas said. "Nobody thought we'd win this game."

Murray scored 19 points with four assists in his second game as a starter and fourth since being traded from Seattle. Ilgauskas also scored 19.

Marshall shot 2-for-9 for five points a night after shooting 1-for-6.

"I definitely take the blame for that," he said. "I haven't shot the ball well this year. Not just tonight but this year. I've been very frustrated with myself."

James also has struggled during the losing streak, scoring just 10 total points in the fourth quarter the last four games.

The Cavaliers didn't do much to slow the Kings down, allowing them to shoot 51 percent from the floor and 44 percent from 3-point range.

The Kings opened with a 12-4 lead as James and the Cavaliers made repeated turnovers. But Cleveland responded with a 16-0 run and led 47-43 at the half.

Game notes

Garcia sprained his left ankle with 9:10 remaining while knocking down a dead ball that got stuck on the back of the rim. He was on crutches in the locker room but X-rays were negative. "It was stupid of me to do that," Garcia said. "I should have left it up there, but I'll be all right." ... Cavs F Drew Gooden dropped the ball under the rim on an easy fast-break layup in the first half. ... The Cavaliers activated F Ira Newble before the game. He did not play.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 97 90
FGM-FGA 38-75 (.507) 36-79 (.456)
3PM-3PA 7-16 (.438) 4-15 (.267)
FTM-FTA 14-14 (1.000) 14-19 (.737)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-38 10-35
Assists 24 23
Turnovers 16 15
Steals 7 8
Blocks 3 4
Fast Break Points 10 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 16 (1/0)
Largest Lead 8 14

Top Performers

Kenny Thomas Thomas
Points: 22
Reb: 10
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
LeBron James James
Points: 19
Reb: 7
Ast: 12
Stl: 1
Blk: 2