DALLAS, May 11 (Ticker) --
With the starting frontcourt of the
Sacramento Kings on the bench, Bobby Jackson
and Mike Bibby
their guard up.
Jackson fueled a fourth-quarter comeback and Bibby made the
go-ahead basket with 12 seconds left in overtime, giving the
Kings a stirring 115-113 victory over the Dallas Mavericks and
control of their Western Conference semifinal series.
Jackson, one of the top reserves in the NBA this season, started
for the injured Peja Stojakovic
and had perhaps the best game
of his five-year career. After a slow start, he took charge at
both ends of the floor, scoring a playoff career-high 26 points
and slowing down Dallas by stalling Steve Nash
Chris Webber scored 30 points while trying to put the series out of the Mavs' reach.|
"You're going to make shots and miss shots, but you've just got
to continue to shoot when you have shots and just continue to
play hard," Jackson said. "My shot started to fall. I was
feeling good and my teammates were getting me the ball. That's
what it's all about. They recognized that I was hot and they
kept getting me the ball."
Bibby, playing in his first postseason, has been spectacular.
After collecting 29 points and nine assists in Thursday's Game
3 win, he scored 24 points in this one, including the
biggest basket of the game.
"I've got all the faith in the world in him," All-Star teammate
Chris Webber said. "I hope that people do start talking about
him more, but if they don't, that's OK."
From the left side, Bibby drove past Michael Finley along the
baseline and floated into the lane before lofting a short shot
over 7-footer Dirk Nowitzki to give the Kings the lead. It
marked the only points of the last three-plus minutes for the
"I knew if we ran a pick-and-roll, they would switch, so I tried
to go away from the screen," Bibby said. "If I didn't shoot, I
was going to pass. Somebody would have an open shot, but
nobody came at me."
Dallas had a chance to tie and went to Nowitzki, who had 31
points and 12 rebounds but again struggled with his shooting.
The All-Star forward dribbled into the lane and put up a
lefthanded layup that bounced out. He could not get a couple of
tip attempts up on the rim and the ball was knocked outside as
"I was right there at the rim and unfortunately it didn't go
in," Nowitzki said.
The Kings erased a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit and improved
to 4-0 on the road in the postseason. They opened a commanding
3-1 lead and can reach the conference finals for the first time
since 1981 with a win at home Monday.
"I expect them to be mad," Jackson said. "We came in and stole
Jackson and Bibby more than picked up the slack for Stojakovic,
who is out for the rest of the series with a sprained right
ankle; Webber, who fouled out with 4:45 left in the fourth
quarter; and center Vlade Divac, who fouled out with 3:56 to go
"We tried to switch on them the whole night," Nowitzki said.
"Bibby has been pretty much on fire the whole series. Jackson
wasn't shooting the ball well in the first half and all of a
sudden he explodes in the second half. But that just shows you
how good of a team they are."
Webber had 30 points and 10 rebounds and Divac added eight and
14 for the Kings, who dominated the backboards, 54-42, and
forced the Mavericks into an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers,
including nine by Nash.
"Make (Nash) make plays and try to dictate whatever we're
doing," Jackson said of his defense. "That's the biggest thing,
really, just contain him and make him make plays."
Michael Finley scored 28 points and Nash added 24 for Dallas,
which again shot poorly, making just 43 percent (40-of-93) from
the field. The Mavs now are facing history as well, as only
six teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series.
"Well, my worst fear came true," Dallas coach Don Nelson said.
"When you lose that first game at home, the concern is that if
you drop the next one, you really get yourself between a rock
and a hard place. That is really where we are at the moment.
We are in big trouble."
Nowitzki made just 9-of-28 shots and is shooting just 35 percent
(30-of-86) in the series.
"I tried to force it a little bit," Nowitzki said. "The second
half, I just tried to stay aggressive and take it to the rim a
little more. It just wasn't a great night."
Two baskets by Finley and a drive by Greg Buckner opened the
fourth quarter and gave Dallas a 95-83 lead before Jackson
heated up. He scored 11 points in a 17-2 burst that stunned the
cowbell-ringing sellout crowd at the American Airlines Center
and gave the Kings a 100-97 lead.
"Bobby Jackson was a guy that we couldn't stop, we couldn't
handle," Nelson said.
Webber fouled out and huddled his teammates before leaving.
Jackson hit two free throws for a 102-99 edge and Bibby drilled
a 3-pointer for a 105-101 advantage with 3:44 left.
"(Webber) had played so well," Kings coach Rick Adelman said.
"But this team is so resilient. They really believe they can
win. They believe they can win no matter what happens."
Nash and Nowitzki had baskets to tie it, but Hedo Turkoglu put
home a miss by Jackson for a 107-105 lead with 1:34 remaining.
Finley hit a 3-pointer to give Dallas the lead with 1:14 to
play, but Nowitzki left the door open for Sacramento by
splitting two free throws with 39 seconds to go.
Bibby dribbled right through it, putting in a layup that tied it
eight seconds later. Finley and Bibby missed badly on outside
shots and the teams went to overtime.
Bibby opened the extra session with a jumper, but Divac fouled
out as he hit Nowitzki, whose two free throws tied it. Finley
pulled up for a transition jumper before two free throws by Scot
Pollard tied it with 3:12 left.
Pollard again was a factor off Sacramento's shortened bench with
nine points and eight boards. Doug Christie scored 12 points
for the Kings, who shot 48 percent (40-of-84). Raef LaFrentz had
12 points and seven rebounds for the Mavs.
"We basically got good production out of everybody and they beat
us," Nelson said. "I think that says something about how good
Both teams changed their starting lineups. The Kings moved
Christie to Stojakovic's small forward slot and started Jackson.
The Mavs benched forward Johnny Newman, moved Finley into his
slot and the slumping Nick Van Exel into the backcourt.
After getting off to quick starts in the first three games, the
Kings missed their initial four shots. Meanwhile, LaFrentz made
his first four and helped the Mavs open a 12-1 lead.
But Nowitzki missed his first seven shots, and Sacramento got
back in it. Webber blew past Nowitzki for a dunk that capped a
10-0 burst and gave the Kings a 25-23 lead.
Finley scored 11 points in the second quarter, including five in
a 10-0 run that gave Dallas a 42-30 lead. The teams traded
baskets before Sacramento scored with nine straight points. A
basket by Webber, who scored 22 points in the first half, closed
the deficit to 54-51 at halftime.
Webber picked up four fouls and a technical in the first five
minutes of the third quarter and took a seat for the rest of the
period. Nowitzki finally found his stroke and scored 15 points
in the quarter, helping Dallas open an 89-82 lead.