SACRAMENTO, Calif, Dec. 28 (Ticker) --
The Sacramento Kings had revenge on their minds, and another stellar performance by Peja Stojakovic
proved the difference.
Stojakovic scored 27 points to lead six players in double figures as the Kings defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 125-111, for their third straight win.
Two weeks ago, Stojakovic was a late scratch due to back spasms and the Kings suffered one of their worst losses of the season, 114-94 at the Target Center.
"They really took it to us," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "We knew they are 19-8. They are one of the better teams in the West. When you play a team like that, coming into your building, you want to respond. It was an important game for us to play well in. Our guys really did respond. I could tell before the game we were going to be ready."
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Chris Webber and the Kings kept Kevin Garnett just missing all evening.
"Tonight was an exciting game," Kings guard Bobby Jackson
added. "We just wanted to come in here and play great and get them back after they blew us out in Minnesota. We just need to learn to play like we did tonight on the road. Tonight was definitely a revenge win. We tried to rub it in their face, like they did in Minnesota."
On Friday, Stojakovic spearheaded a big first half, when Sacramento shot 61 percent and fashioned a 65-50 lead. The Kings extended the advantage to 17 points in the third quarter, but a jumper by Kevin Garnett
got Minnesota within 97-91 with 9:53 to play.
On most attempts, Stojakovic had to face the long reach of the 6-11 Garnett. But he was clutch in the final 12 minutes, connecting on 4-of-6 shots, as the Kings shot a torrid 75 percent (12-of-16) to seal their league-leading 16th home win.
"I got lucky a little," Stojakovic said. "It's a good feeling, especially when you have a good start against a team like Minnesota and a player like Garnett."
The Wolves got no closer, however, as two free throws by Vlade Divac
started a 9-1 run that restored a 106-92 cushion with 6:51 left.
"When you give a team that is very capable of scoring 100 and something points, you put yourself in a hole that's very hard to catch up," Garnett said. "We just didn't have that boost to get over the edge."
led the Wolves with 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting and Garnett added 19. But Garnett, who set a team record two weeks ago with 24 rebounds, had just eight.
Szczerbiak had 21 points in the second half as the Timberwolves outscored the Kings, 35-29, in the third quarter. He made three consecutive jumpers to cut the deficit to 82-70 with 5:29 left.
made two 3-pointers and Szczerbiak hit another jumper as the Wolves climbed to 94-85 after three quarters.
Stojakovic had help. Chris Webber
had his best game since returning from an ankle injury, contributing 22 points and eight rebounds.
Sacramento, which scored an NBA season-high 133 points against Phoenix on Sunday, had few problems against Minnesota's varied defensive looks. Mike Bibby
added 21 points, Divac had 17 and Doug Christie
12 as the Kings scored the most points against the Wolves this season while shooting 57 percent (47-of-83)
"We are a team with a lot of offensive firepower," Bibby said. "We started tonight's game aggressive and we got a lot of fast-break points. The main thing is to be aggressive. We were just trying to move everybody around and see who plays well against who."
"We had good intensity," Billups said. "They hit some great shots. They're a great team. We played hard defensively. They hit shots with hands in their faces."