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Sacramento 124, Dallas 113
Kings Manhandle Mavs to Take Opener

Chris Webber stuffing down two of his 24 points against Dallas on Tuesday.
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DALLAS, May 6 (Ticker) -- Chris Webber and the Sacramento Kings looked rested. Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks looked exhausted.

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Webber got off to a flying start with 13 of his 24 points in the first quarter as the Kings sped to a 124-113 victory over the Mavericks in Game One of their Western Conference semifinals.

Second-seeded Sacramento has dominated in Dallas over the last two seasons and this was no exception. The Kings have won five straight games at the American Airlines Center, virtually all of them in demoralizing fashion.

"I really don't know what to expect out of Dallas," said Webber, who made 9-of-15 shots and handed out nine assists. "They are a great team, but I am just so worried about us. I am more worried about us than any other team."

Webber did not have much to worry about in this one. Having not played since dispatching Utah in the first round six days ago, Sacramento wasted no time taking home-court advantage from third-seeded Dallas, which was pushed to seven games by Portland before finally closing out the first round Sunday.

"(Fatigue) could have been a lot to it, but at this point in the season you've got to dig deep," Mavs guard Nick Van Exel said. "Because if you go to the finals that's the end of June. This is early right now. We're still early into the playoffs. Fatigue shouldn't come into factor right now."

The Kings shot 55 percent (44-of-80) from the field and had six players in double figures. They displayed their usual sharp and creative passing and turned the second half into a fast-break drill.

"They just put on a clinic," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "We weren't very good in the first quarter and it set the tone for the game."

"We had time to prepare ourselves for working our game," Kings forward Peja Stojakovic said. "We had time to plan for how they were going to play. We did a lot of good things today."

Peja Stojakovic scored 10 of his 26 points in the third quarter for the Kings, who are 5-1 in the postseason and appear ready to bounce the Mavs in the conference semifinals for the second straight year.

"We were focused and ready to play," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "You could feel it in the locker room, but you never know until you step on the floor. There was definitely a feeling that we were ready to go."

Nowitzki, who had 31 points and 12 rebounds in Sunday's Game Seven clincher, was limited to 18 and 11 and was not anywhere the factor he has been throughout the postseason. Without a big game from their leader, Dallas never really got untracked and trailed by as many as 28 points.

"They scored 130 on us. That's embarrassing," Nowitzki said. "We've just got to guard them a little better."

In the first quarter, Webber used his jumper to set up a couple of driving dunks as the Kings led by as many as 13 points before settling for a 33-24 lead.

"One team looked like they were in a playoff game and the other team looked like they thought it was a regular-season game," Van Exel said.

The Mavs closed to 52-46 and had a chance to get closer but missed three consecutive jumpers. The Kings closed the half with a 10-4 spurt fueled by five points from Webber.

"Chris was a big key getting the ball in the crease," Stojakovic said. "They didn't have an answer for that."

A clear sign that the Mavs were dragging was their 0-of-10 shooting from the arc in the first half.

"I think we were just flat and the energy wasn't there. That affects the jumper," Nowitzki said.

Stojakovic opened the second half with two jumpers. A pair of baskets by Vlade Divac made it 74-54 with 8:23 left in the third quarter, and the rout was on. A 3-pointer by Doug Christie gave Sacramento its largest lead at 87-59 with 5:18 to go.

Sixth Man Award winner Bobby Jackson scored 23 points for the Kings. Divac added 14, Christie 13 and Keon Clark 10.

Van Exel, Steve Nash and Michael Finley scored 20 points apiece for the Mavs, who shot 47 percent (46-of-98).

"This is pretty much what we expect from them," Nash said. "We should be more prepared to play this team and tonight we looked as though we never played them before."



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