DALLAS, April 26 (Ticker) -- Peja Stojakovic
regained his touch and the
Sacramento Kings reclaimed control of their Western Conference
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Stojakovic scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half and
had 22 as the Kings took a 3-1 lead in the
first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks with a 94-92
One of the NBA's best offensive players during the regular
season, Stojakovic was limited to 48 points on 17-of-41 shooting
in the first three games of the series. His struggles
continued in the first half of this one as he made just 1-of-11
Mike Bibby got the better of his counterpart Steve Nash in Game 4.|
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The All-Star guard woke up after halftime, making 7-of-15 shots
as the Kings took the lead for good and bounced back from a
25-point loss in Game 3.
Sacramento led by as many as eight late in the fourth quarter,
but Dallas got within 94-92 with 33.3 seconds left on a pair of
free throws by Dirk Nowitzki
Bibby missed a jumper at the other end and Sacramento's Chris Webber
grabbed the rebound but had his foot on the baseline,
giving Dallas one last chance.
was unable to get the ball to Nowitzki, who made just
one basket in the second half, and forced a tough fallaway
jumper over Stojakovic that missed badly as time expired.
"I got something on the target, I just couldn't make it," Nash
said. "It just wasn't the shot we wanted. There wasn't a lot
of places to go at that point. There was a lot of plays that
led up to that play that really caused our demise."
Webber finished with 17 points and nine rebounds and Doug Christie
collected 13 and 15 for the Kings, who can end the
series Thursday at Arco Arena.
"We did what we wanted to do," Webber said. "We wanted to come
get a win. We've still got another game. It's not over."
grabbed 16 rebounds as Sacramento held a commanding
68-55 advantage on the glass in a game that featured 47
"There was a huge discrepancy on the boards that really hurt
us," Dallas coach Don Nelson
said. "We had been a good
rebounding team throughout this series. Their size hurt us
Nowitzki had 21 points and 14 rebounds and Michael Finley
16 points for the Mavericks, who shot less than 35 percent
(34-of-98) from the floor, including 4-of-21 from 3-point range.
Dallas was the best free-throw shooting team in the NBA during
the regular season but made just 20-of-33 at the line.
"That was unfortunate," Nash said. "It's a frustrating way to
lose a game. You can definitely point to that as a big reason
why we lost. That was very uncharacteristic."