SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 16 (Ticker) --
The good news for the
Sacramento Kings is they forced a decisive seventh game. The
bad news is their already thin rotation may be reduced.
scored 22 points to lead a balanced attack as
the Kings kept their season alive with a 104-87 triumph over the
Minnesota Timberwolves in yet another intense battle in the
Western Conference semifinals.
NBA TV highlights from|
Peja Stojakovic poured in 22 points in the Kings' Game 6 win.
In the final minute of the third quarter, Kings guard Anthony Peeler
swung his left elbow into the abdomen of Kevin Garnett
his former teammate, sending the MVP to the floor. Seconds
later, Garnett retaliated by shouldering Peeler to the chest,
and Peeler responded by elbowing Garnett to the jaw.
"They're extremely close," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said.
"They're the best of friends. I hope they still are. AP
competes and goes hard. He hits KG, KG retaliates and AP throws
a punch. I've had AP for eight years and I know he plays
"I'm surprised that it was a little dirty," Garnett said. "I
played with him a couple years, so I know what kind of player he
is. It was surprising, but I wasn't going to let anybody just
hit me. Never have, never will."
Both players received technical fouls, but Peeler - one of only
seven Kings to see regular action - was ejected and likely faces
a one-game suspension. The series concludes Wednesday in
"I haven't talked to Anthony yet," Kings coach Rick Adelman
said. "I don't know why it happened, but you have to be cool.
And it's going to be tough if he's suspended for this."
"It was retaliation after he hit me with an elbow," Peeler said.
"It's always the guy that responds that is the one that gets
suspended or ejected. So if I get suspended or ejected, I think
that he should as well.
Peeler said they both were battling and both were out there for
one goal - to win.
"If it comes to some form of confrontation, the sentence should
be for both people," he added.
Timberwolves forward Gary Trent was pleased that Garnett kept
his cool after getting elbowed in the face.
"KG understands the magnitude of what we're trying to
accomplish," Trent said. "The most he would have gotten back
was one or two punches. Unless you throw some Mike Tyson, one
or two punches and are going to slide the guy across the court
with your 1-2 punch, it ain't even worth it. He did the right
Before the game, Sacramento center Brad Miller
was fined $10,000
for directing an obscene gesture toward fans at the Target
Center after he was ejected from Game Five following an
altercation with Darrick Martin
, who made 6-of-7 3-pointers, scored 27 points
and Garnett added 19 and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which went
on a 17-0 run in the first quarter to take a 28-19 lead.
The Timberwolves were in front, 37-31, with just under nine
minutes left in the second quarter before the Kings ran off the
next 12 points as part of a 26-7 burst to close the period.
Minnesota got no closer than six points thereafter.
High-energy Timberwolves point guard Sam Cassell
, who continues
to be hindered by back spasms, had 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting
before fouling out with 2:32 remaining. He was assessed a
technical for complaining after picking up his sixth foul.
"Sam is frustrated because he can't move as well. Everyone who
watches basketball knows how he is," Saunders said. "Does he
need to control himself better? Absolutely. But he's always on
"I'm not one to talk about my injuries," Cassell said. "It's
(hurting) a little bit right now, but I have a couple of days
off. I'll be ready."
Miller had 17 points and Mike Bibby
added 16 and 10 assists for
the Kings, who shot 50 percent (39-of-78) after a 33 percent
effort in Game Five.
"We need to defend better," Sprewell said. "In the games we've
won, we've been really good defensively. When we're good, we
keep them under 40 (percent)."
The winner of Game Seven faces the Los Angeles Lakers in the
"Now it's a one-game series," Adelman said. "And you never know
what's going to happen in a one-game series. I keep telling
them to extend this. We extended it today and now we want to
extend it to the next round."
"We played 82 games to get home court," Saunders said of the
top-seeded Timberwolves. "Now it comes down to one game. We
know it's going to be a war."