SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 5 (Ticker) -- Rashard Lewis
back soon enough for the Seattle SuperSonics.
The SuperSonics continued to struggle without their All-Star in
a 122-101 loss to the Sacramento Kings, who got 24 points from Peja Stojakovic
and 21 from Cuttino Mobley
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chipped in 20 points and Mike Bibby
and 10 assists for Sacramento, which had a season-high 36
assists and strafed Seattle's defense.
"We played like I said we needed to play," Bibby said. "We
played together offensively and defensively. We shot the ball
better and got the stops when we needed to."
Lewis missed his fifth straight game with a sore right foot.
The playoff-bound SuperSonics (50-24) have lost four of their
last six contests since a five-game winning streak and again
failed to clinch the inaugural Northwest Division title.
"We miss his scoring, but we've got guys who can score," said
Seattle center Jerome James, who made 6-of-9 shots for 13
points. "We really miss his defense from the (small forward)
position. Rashard is second on the team in blocked shots. We
miss his leadership and court sense and his desire to win."
"Defensively, we couldn't stop anybody tonight," Seattle coach
Nate McMillan said. "We have to get some stops defensively and
try to create some easy opportunities for us."
Sacramento, which had lost its first three meetings with Seattle
this season, held just a 67-63 edge two minutes into the second
half but pushed the advantage to 97-81 entering the fourth
quarter. Mobley scored 12 points and Stojakovic nine in the
third period. The Kings led by as many as 26 points in the
Sacramento looked nothing like the team that shot 38 percent in
a home loss to Minnesota on Sunday, but inconsistency has been
an issue all season.
"That's what we have to have," Kings coach Rick Adelman
"I talked to them this morning about the fact that with these
seven games (remaining), you've got to come together so that
when the playoffs hit, you know who you are."
"We know we're capable of playing (this way)," Bibby added.
"We've just got to go out and do it. The confidence level has
always been there."
scored 23 points to pace the SuperSonics, who shot 48
percent (39-of-82) but allowed the Kings to connect on a
season-high 59 percent (47-of-80).
Stojakovic made 5-of-6 3-pointers and Mobley 4-of-6 for
Sacramento, which sank 11-of-19 from the arc. Seattle made just
"I just think overall we were really aggressive on both ends of
the floor," said Stojakovic, who also added a career high-tying
seven assists. "It was an important game for us; we needed a
win. I don't know how much it meant for them, playing without
Lewis and (Vladimir) Radmanovic, but we're also shorthanded."
Sacramento is hopeful that both guard Bobby Jackson
Brad Miller will return for the playoffs. The Kings (46-30) are
in fifth place in the Western Conference, 1 1/2 games ahead of
The Kings used a 17-4 second-quarter run, keyed by seven points
from reserve forward Darius Songaila
, to open a 48-32 advantage.
Songaila made 6-of-7 shots for 13 points while fellow reserve
Eddie House added 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, leading
Sacramento to a 33-20 advantage off the bench.
"We needed that win right there, especially against a team we
hadn't beat all year," House said. "It's another game closer to
locking up playoff spot. It's great for us."
Sacramento shot 67 percent (26-of-39) over the second and third
quarters, outscoring Seattle in that span, 70-57.