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Kings beat sagging Blazers, keep eighth place

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- To Brad Miller, it's still a win, even if
it came against the woeful Trail Blazers. And wins are crucial
right now for the Sacramento Kings.

Miller scored 24 points Wednesday night and Sacramento beat
Portland 106-90, extending the Trail Blazers' longest losing streak
in 20 years to nine.

"Obviously Portland is having its struggles right now, but it's
up to us to play as a team, keep working and try to get this thing
right for the playoffs," Miller said.

The Kings, who had lost two straight and five of their last
seven games as they jockey for playoff position in the Western
Conference, led by as many as 20 points. Former Blazers forward
Shareef Abdur-Rahim finished with 21 points.

The Trail Blazers' skid is their worst since they lost 12 in a
row in February 1986.

Viktor Khryapa had 18 points for Portland, which has won just
two of it last 21 games.

"It's a reality here. We're a team that at this time of the
season, with teams trying to get to the playoffs, it's going to be
difficult to win," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said.

Ron Artest, who provided a spark when he was acquired by
Sacramento, continued to struggle. He was 4-for-11 from the field
against the Blazers, and is 14-of-61 in his last four games.

But it was his 21-foot jumper that put the Kings up 66-46 in the
third quarter. Artest finished with 11 points.

The Kings, currently in eighth place in the Western Conference,
were coming off a 97-84 loss Tuesday night to Washington. It was
Sacramento's second straight loss at Arco Arena after a 14-game
winning streak there.

"We haven't been playing well these last seven games and our
offense was the thing hurting us the most," Sacramento coach Rick
Adelman said. "Guys were trying to do everything on their own and
we need to get back to trusting our teammates and passing the ball.
We weren't paying much attention to detail in these last seven
games, but we were better tonight."

Fans at the Rose Garden loudly booed the return of Kings guard
Bonzi Wells, who spent nearly six turbulent seasons in Portland.

Wells had a number of public run-ins with former Blazers coach
Maurice Cheeks, and raised ire when he used an obscene gesture to
address a Rose Garden fan. Wells was traded away during the 2003-04
season.

Only a couple of players remain with the Blazers from Wells'
time with the team. Along with Wells, Rasheed Wallace and Damon
Stoudamire have moved on.

Wells apparently still holds some hard feelings.

"This is what they (the Blazers) wanted. They wanted to get all
the good players out of here and bring in the so-called character
guys, and if they want to sacrifice losing for that, I guess
they've accomplished that," Wells said. "We got ourselves in the
playoffs every year, we just didn't make that championship run they
wanted."

Miller hit a 3-pointer that made it 47-31 in the first half, and
Sacramento led 58-41 at the break. Miller had 17 points.

Zach Randolph, who had been bothered by an ingrown toenail on
his right foot, did not play Sunday in the fourth quarter of a
97-83 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He returned against the
Kings with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Darius Miles returned after missing two games because of the
death of his grandfather in Illinois, but played just briefly and
afterward said that his surgically repaired right knee felt weak.

Sacramento guard Kevin Martin missed a fourth game with a
bruised right thigh.

Game notes
Portland second-year center Ha Seung-Jin was assigned to
Fort Worth of the NBA Development League. ... Blazers owner Paul
Allen attended the game after a surprise appearance on Sunday.
Allen announced at the NBA trade deadline that the Blazers were
bleeding money and need some kind of public partnership to remain
viable, and had not attended a game since. ... It was the fourth
game in five nights for the Kings. ... Wells was fined $5,000 by
the NBA on Monday for knocking a ball into the locker-room tunnel
during Sunday's loss to Golden State. ... The Kings tied their
season high for assists with 33. ... Sacramento also tied its
season high for 3-pointers with 12.