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New Kings Come Together

Associated Press
Monday, March 7, 2005; Page D05

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, yesterday in the Kings' first home game since Chris Webber's departure.

Mavericks center Shawn Bradley, left, and the Rockets' Tracy McGrady scramble for a loose ball from on high. (Pat Sullivan -- AP)

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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. "We've got new guys, other injured guys, but overall, we're having a good effort."

TIMBERWOLVES 99, CELTICS 97: In Boston, Latrell Sprewell made a runner with 0.9 of a second remaining to lift Minnesota and give Coach Kevin McHale a victory in his first game on the sideline in Boston. McHale, who took over as Timberwolves coach for the fired Flip Saunders, played his entire 13-year, Hall of Fame career in green and white. He helped lead the Celtics to three NBA championships before taking over as Minnesota's vice president of basketball operations in 1995.

• KNICKS 115, WARRIORS 99: Stephon Marbury had 26 points and a season-high 16 assists, and New York used a 21-1 run in the fourth quarter to win at home for the sixth straight time in the opener of a four-game homestand.

Tim Thomas scored 25 points, Michael Sweetney opened 9 for 9 and finished with 19 points, and Maurice Taylor shot 7 for 8 and scored 15. The Knicks shot a season-high 61.8 percent.

• HEAT 102, CAVALIERS 82: Shaquille O'Neal spent much of his 33rd birthday in foul trouble but Eddie Jones scored 19 points, Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem added 18 apiece and the visiting Heat won its fifth straight over collapsing Cleveland.

O'Neal played just 19 minutes in the first three quarters, but the Heat actually played better without its all-star center. While O'Neal sat out with four fouls, Miami outscored Cleveland 18-8 over the final 6:23 of the third to take control.

LeBron James scored 23 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost six straight, seven of eight.

• SPURS 101, JAZZ 94: Tim Duncan missed most of the second half after spraining his right ankle, but Manu Ginobili led the Spurs in his absence with 31 points to help San Antonio win at home. Duncan was helped from the floor 3:48 into the second half. He was defending a drive by Andrei Kirilenko when he jumped and appeared to come down on the leg of teammate Rasho Nesterovic.

ROCKETS 90, MAVERICKS 69: Tracy McGrady scored 32 points and had 10 rebounds to lead host Houston over injury-depleted Dallas, which played without leading scorers Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley.

"Regardless of who was or wasn't playing, to win this one means a lot," said McGrady, who scored 27 of his points after getting six stitches on his chin following a collision in the first quarter.

RAPTORS 95, HORNETS 84: Chris Bosh scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, helping Toronto end a two-game skid with a win in New Orleans. Matt Bonner added a career-high 18 points, hitting back-to-back three-pointers after the Hornets opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run.

SUNS 110, SUPERSONICS 99: Joe Johnson matched a season high with 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting and Amare Stoudemire added 22 points, leading Phoenix in Seattle. Shawn Marion had 18 points and 10 rebounds while Steve Nash added 12 points and 10 assists, and the NBA's top scoring offense helped the Suns improve their road record to a league-best 24-7.

LAKERS 103, PACERS 94: Kobe Bryant scored 37 points and had 10 rebounds to help Los Angeles beat visiting Indiana. The Lakers' second straight win lifted them to two games over .500 (30-28).

Stephen Jackson led Indiana with 29 points.

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