MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 3 (Ticker)
-- The Sacramento Kings snapped a nine-game losing streak at the Target Center behind another determined effort by Chris Webber
Webber scored 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Peja Stojakovic
chipped in 21, including a pair of clutch free throws with 6.3 seconds to go, as Sacramento posted a 112-107 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Chris Webber showed his All-Star form against the Timberwolves.
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images
Since serving a one-game suspension on Thursday, Webber has come back with a vengeance, scoring 60 points and grabbing 26 rebounds in his last two contests. The All-Star power forward made 13-of-25 shots and was at his best down the stretch.
The game was tied, 98-98, when Webber hit a seven-footer with 3:35 left. He then grabbed a defensive rebound and Scot Pollard
followed with a three-point play that put Sacramento ahead 103-98. Chauncey Billups
hit a runner for the Timberwolves with 2:36 left but Webber fed Stojakovic for a 105-100 lead. Billups had a three-point play for Minnesota to make it 105-103 but Stojakovic hit an 18-footer and Webber grabbed another rebound and was fouled with 36 seconds remaining. He made one of the two to seal the victory. Mike Bibby
had 24 points and Bobby Jackson
added 12 in 14 minutes off the bench as the Kings won in Minneapolis for the first time since a 91-88 triumph on January 28, 1997. Sacramento, which has just 11 losses in 46 games this season, was blown out by 20 at the Target Center on December 14.
"We are not playing to have little moral victories here and there," Webber said. "We have bigger goals now. You should be proud of any time you win here but those are not our goals now."
"They have played very well against us here over the last three years but we are a different team," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "We're a different team this year." Kevin Garnett
had 32 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota, which has dropped five of its last seven games overall.
"The season is long but only because we have been losing of late," Garnett said. "We started off really well but as of late we've hit a little slump. It's not something like we've lost eight in a row or something."
Minnesota came out strong, scoring 16 of the first 20 points. Garnett had a big first quarter with 14 points and the Timberwolves were up 32-23 through 12 minutes.
The Kings began chipping away and took the lead, 41-40, on a 3-pointer by Hedo Turkoglu
with 5:10 left in the half. It was Turkoglu's only basket of the game.
As hot as Minnesota was in the first quarter, it went cold in the second, making just 6-of-21 shots. The Timberwolves trailed 50-48 at the half and the lead seesawed most of the first five minutes of the third quarter.
"We were up in the first quarter but I didn't like the tempo of the game," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "We had not been to the free-throw line and how you start a game established how the game is called by the refs later."
Minnesota was within 63-61 following a free throw by Garnett but Stojakovic buried a 3-pointer and fed Vlade Divac
for a layup around another free throw by Garnett.
Garnett dunked with 5:50 to go to slice the Timberwolves' deficit to 68-64, but Webber had a layup and Stojakovic a turnaround jumper. After a driving layup by Minnesota's Terrell Brandon
, Divac sank a 17-footer, Webber had a layup and later a free throw to push the lead to 77-66.
Sacramento took a 10-point lead into the final quarter but Minnesota opened the period on a 9-3 run to get within 89-84. The Kings still held a 94-86 edge with 7:53 remaining when Anthony Peeler
hit a short hook shot and Joe Smith
followed with six straight points.
"It was a very important game for us," Stojakovic said. "To be one of the elite teams -- we have to beat teams like Minnesota."
"We needed it," Bibby said. "Any road win is a good one, and against one of the top teams in the NBA, we needed it."