TORONTO, March 17 (Ticker) -- Chris Webber
had 31 points and 15 rebounds in his return to the lineup as the Sacramento Kings got back on track with a 116-113 victory over the reeling Toronto Raptors.
Webber sat out Thursday's loss at New York with a dislocated right index finger but showed no ill effects in 46 minutes, going 8-of-18 from the field and 15-of-18 from the free-throw line.
"Chris was terrific," coach Rick Adelman said of his star, who also is nursing a bad ankle. "He got to the line and was a force all game."
Webber also had six assists, including a breakout pass to former Raptor Doug Christie, who dunked and made a free throw for a 113-109 lead with 25 seconds remaining.
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Mike Bibby puts the move on Alvin Williams, scoring 22 points.
"I can't jump as well with my ankle and my hand is hurting," Webber said.
Mike Bibby had 22 points and Christie chipped in 18 for the Sacramento, which won without sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic. He sat out with a bad hamstring.
"With Peja out, I felt pressure to pick up the slack," Webber said. "This was a big win because it was like a playoff game for them."
The Kings posted their fifth straight win over the Raptors and reclaimed the NBA's best record (47-18), moving one-half game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers atop the Pacific Division.
Vince Carter scored 22 points but fouled out with 3:07 left as Toronto lost for the 16th time in 17 games and slipped three behind Charlotte for the final postseason berth in the East.
"You can't look at the playoff board," Carter said. "You just have to worry about what the Raptors are doing. This is really hard for me to swallow, night in and night out."
Carter fouled Hedo Turkoglu with 3:07 left, went to the bench with his sixth foul and watched as his teammates were unable to regain the lead.
Turkoglu made a pair of free throws for a 107-104 edge. Alvin Williams hit a 3-pointer with 2 1/2 minutes left to tie it, but Bibby made a free throw 20 seconds later to put Sacramento ahead for good.
After Bibby missed his second foul shot and Webber grabbed the offensive rebound, the teams exchanged offensive fouls. Webber then set up Bibby for a 3-pointer, which made it 110-107 with 79 seconds left.
Williams hit a jumper with 1:04 remaining to lift the Raptors within a point, but that's as close as they got.
After Webber missed a jumper, Williams had a chance to give Toronto the lead but missed one of his own. Webber grabbed the rebound and fired to a wide-open Christie, who dunked as Williams fouled him from behind. His free throw made it 113-109.
The Kings cruised over the last 25 seconds and won for the fifth time in six games. They also completed a 4-1 road trip against Eastern Conference teams, suffering only a 113-96 loss to the Knicks on Thursday.
"We've been more consistent on this trip," Adelman said. "If we're going to stay where we are, we're going to have to win on the road. I was fearful of these guys, but our guys learned a lesson in New York. We made the plays we needed to to win this game."
The game was tight throughout, and it showed on the boxscore.
The Kings shot 47 percent from the floor (38-of-81) and the Raptors 48 percent (41-of-86). Sacramento held a 46-44 edge off the boards, had three more turnovers and and both teams had 23 assists.
"Both teams played hard, but we stepped up our defense down the stretch and made our shots," Bibby said. "If we play as hard as we did in the second half, nobody should beat us."
"They got the breaks they needed and we didn't capitalize on our plays at the end of the game," Raptors Jerome Williams countered. "We had a few mishaps and it cost us the game."
What could have cost them the game was the loss of Carter, who was 8-of-19 from the floor. His disqualification cost Toronto its only go-to guy down the stretch.
"We have a team that is capable and who is to say it'd be any different if I was on the floor," Carter said.
Morris Peterson scored 18 points and Davis added 14 for the Raptors, who were eight games over .500 and in solid playoff position in the weak Eastern Conference before their current slide.
"I thought the last two games, we played more like ourselves," coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We're getting our rhythm back, something we lost quite a while ago. It doesn't show yet in the win column."
Carter isn't dwelling on the slump.
"I'm living for right now and not the last 14 or 15 games," he said. "We need to win right now."
Sunday's game looked good at times for the Raptors, who used a 19-7 run to build a 59-51 lead 2:18 before halftime. But the Kings had a 29-15 burst bridging the halves and took an 80-74 lead on a three-point play by Christie with 4:28 left in the third quarter.
Neither team led by more than eight points.