Stojakovic, Kings Zip Past Nuggets
Sacramento 101, Denver 85
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 11 (Ticker) -- Peja Stojakovic and Brad Miller helped the Sacramento Kings exact a measure of revenge in their own building.
Stojakovic scored 23 points and Miller collected 12, nine rebounds and 10 assists as the Kings cruised to a 101-85 triumph over the Denver Nuggets.
However, Stojakovic left little doubt in this one, scoring 15 points in the opening quarter as the Kings built a 29-19 lead.
"We were really aggressive in the first quarter, especially on the defensive end," Stojakovic said. "Everything started on defense; the whole team was aggressive. We ran the ball and I got some shots."
Normally one of the NBA's best offensive teams, Sacramento came in averaging just over 90 points per game. But coach Rick Adelman's bench trio of Kevin Martin, Jason Hart and Kenny Thomas provided a huge scoring lift in the first half.
"We changed some things to get Kenny some more looks and Jason an opportunity to run things," Adelman said. "For Kevin, it's just a matter of going out there and being aggressive -- he can score. All three of those guys were a little more relaxed. I was really pleased (they) got it going."
The three players combined for 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the first 24 minutes for the Kings, who used a 25-8 run to bridge the first and second periods and owned a 61-44 advantage at halftime.
Coming into the contest, Sacramento's bench was averaging just 16 points per game, with most coming in blowout losses.
"That's what it's gonna take, a group effort," said Kings guard Bonzi Wells, who scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds. "Those guys came in and really gave us a boost."
Martin finished with 14 points and Shareef Abdur-Rahim chipped in with 14 and nine rebounds for Sacramento.
"We can't win them all, but to win at this game, we are going to have to play a whole lot better each and every night," Camby said.
Denver managed to cut a 20-point deficit to nine with 3:39 remaining on a Camby free throw. But Mike Bibby and Miller hit back-to-back jumpers and Abdur-Rahim added two free throws during a 6-0 run that sealed the win for Sacramento.
"Right now, we are not putting the total package on the floor," Denver coach George Karl said. "We have a lack of confidence in making shots and we don't pass the ball with crispness and execution. Tonight, we ran into a Sacramento team that had intensity to win, and we just couldn't get it done."
Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony shot just 4-of-15 from the foor and finished with 11 points, his lowest output of the season.