SACRAMENTO, April 20 (Ticker) --
One sure sign that the
playoffs are different than the regular season is the Sacramento
Kings beating the Dallas Mavericks in a defensive struggle.
The Kings played perhaps their best defense of the season and
held on for an 83-79 victory over the Mavericks to take a 2-0
lead in their Western Conference first-round series.
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had a triple-double and Mike Bibby
and Brad Miller
made big shots in the final 90 seconds for the fourth-seeded
Kings, who survived in a game entirely unfamiliar to them.
"It was definitely unusual for these two teams to have a game
like this," Kings center Vlade Divac
"You will not see that too many times," Bibby said.
Dallas and Sacramento finished 1-2 in the NBA in scoring this
season as the only teams to average better than 100 points per
game. The Kings won Sunday's opener, 116-105, in an up-tempo
game typical of these clubs.
However, this was the lowest-scoring game in 126 contests
between the teams since Dallas entered the NBA in 1980.
"We play a particular style and so do they," Kings coach Rick Adelman
said. "The so-called experts who know everything say we
cannot defend anything. But we're in a playoff series, and
they're in a playoff series. We want it and they want it."
A layup by rookie Marquis Daniels
pulled Dallas into a 77-77 tie
with 1:30 to go. On the next possession, Bibby lost the ball,
got it back and sank a short bank shot at the 1:10 mark.
"I just wanted to make something happen," Bibby said. "A lot of
times when I'm out there standing around, I don't feel like I'm
involved. I like to be involved, whether I'm driving to the
basket or making a pass to someone else. I was just trying to
be aggressive and trying to run them a little bit."
Daniels made two free throws to tie it for the last time.
Miller, who had just one basket to that point, took a feed from
Bibby and sank a 15-footer that beat the shot clock with 34
seconds to play.
"It felt good to finally do something I've been doing all year
hit an open jump shot," Miller said.
Chris Webber was one assist shy of a first-half triple-double.|
Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE/Getty Images
Dallas missed 10 of its last 12 shots. Steve Nash
3-pointer and Daniels missed a follow shot before Eduardo Najera
fouled Webber, who missed two free throws with 19 seconds
The Mavericks went to Michael Finley
, who dribbled left on Peja Stojakovic
and pulled up for a jumper. But Stojakovic may have
gotten a hand on the ball, and Finley lost control. Doug Christie
's two free throws sealed it with 9.3 seconds left.
"I don't have bonuses for Defensive Player of the Year, so I
don't do that often," joked Stojakovic. "I was just trying to
contain him. Trying to make him rush the play. I know he likes
to go left and that's what he did."
Game 3 is Saturday in Dallas, where the Mavericks were a
league-best 36-5 this season.
"We're going back home, and we've played really well at home
this season," Dallas forward Eduardo Najera
Bibby scored 10 of his 24 points in the last six minutes and
Webber had 19, 13 rebounds and 12 assists for his first career
playoff triple-double. They carried the Kings, who shot just 37
percent (30-of-81) from the field.
had 28 points and 10 rebounds and Daniels added 16
and 11 for the Mavericks, who shot just 32 percent (30-of-93),
including 2-of-19 3-pointers.
"We didn't shoot well and they didn't shoot well," Divac said.
"Obviously we are a much better defensive team than they are, so
we took advantage of it."
Webber nearly had a triple-double in the first half, when he had
13 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, helping the Kings take
a 44-42 lead.
But Najera was able to slow down Webber, and Sacramento went the
final 7:58 of the third quarter without a basket and took just
a 61-60 lead into the final period.
"The only reason he's in the game is to beat the hell out of
Webber," Adelman said. "I don't think there's a place for that
in the league."
Neither team led by more than four points in the fourth quarter.
Bibby had a pair of 3-pointers around a drive to help turn a
70-66 deficit into a 76-74 lead with 3:06 left.