Stojakovic and Co. Thump Spurs
SACRAMENTO, Calif. Jan. 2 (Ticker) -- Peja Stojakovic
put an end
to the Sacramento Kings' surprising struggles at Arco Arena.
Stojakovic made six 3-pointers and scored 28 points as the Kings
avoided their first three-game home losing streak since 2000
with an 86-81 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
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The Kings had lost two straight and four overall at home after
not having lost more than eight in any of the previous four
seasons - a span during which they held the best home mark in
The win was also Sacramento's first against an opponent with a
winning record since beating the Lakers in Los Angeles on
"It's just a terrific win," said a clearly relieved Kings coach
Rick Adelman. "People talk about how we haven't done well
against the better teams, especially the last couple. Our guys
made their runs and made plays."
In a back-and-forth contest, Stojakovic's 6-of-10 shooting from
the arc proved to be the difference. He scored nine points -
all on 3-pointers - in the third quarter as Sacramento took a
62-56 lead into the final period.
"I was just being aggressive," Stojakovic said. "I was looking
at my opportunities and every time I had a little space I was
trying to be aggressive and shoot the ball."
While Stojakovic had the hot hand offensively, the Kings won on
the defensive end holding the Spurs to 39 percent shooting
(34-of-88) and their second-lowest point total of the season.
"We're very proud of our defense and our effort," Kings forward
said. "To be able to win ugly games feels really
good because that's the way (the Spurs) try to make it."
The Spurs did not help matters from the line, where they made
just 50 percent (9-of-18).
"If you can hold (Sacramento) to 86, that's tough to do," San
Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "But our shooting and the
free throw line really betrayed us tonight."
San Antonio fought back to tie it, 73-73, on a 3-pointer by
Brent Barry with 4:42 remaining. Stojakovic answered with a
shot from the arc on the other end to give the Kings the lead
Webber scored 14 points and had 13 rebounds but did his best
work on the defensive end, where he held superstar forward Tim Duncan
to 14 points on 6-of-17 shooting, twice tying him up for
"He's such a great player," Webber said of Duncan. "He and I
laugh about it. People will say we both played great defense at
the end of the game. But he feels he missed some shots. My
effort was definitely there. I just tried and fortunately we won
nailed a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to draw the
Spurs within 84-81. Horry and Duncan trapped Stojakovic in the
corner and appeared to force a jump ball of their own. But
Horry was called for a foul, and Stojakovic hit both free throws
to seal the win.
"Considering there were so many jump balls called during the
game, I thought that could be one," Popovich said.
"Consistency, that's all we ever ask of (the officials)," Horry
Duncan refused to talk about the final play.
"That could get me fined," he said.
scored 18 points and Horry added a season-high 12
for San Antonio, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.
Both teams struggled in the first half, when rookie Kevin Martin
scored seven of his nine points - including a dunk with less
than two seconds remaining - as the Kings took a 42-39 advantage
into the break.