Bibby Breaks Out as Kings Coast Past Jazz
Sacramento 119, Utah 83
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 15 (Ticker) -- Mike Bibby and the new-look Sacramento Kings struggled over the first two weeks of the young season. Perhaps a meeting with the shorthanded Utah Jazz was all they needed.
Bibby scored 25 points and Peja Stojakovic added 21 as the Kings jumped to an early lead before cruising to a 119-83 triumph over the Jazz.
The early returns were unimpressive, as the Kings averaged fewer than 93 points in dropping five of their first seven games this season.
However, Sacramento looked like a different team Tuesday against Utah. Stojakovic scored nine points in the first quarter as the Kings built an early 33-18 cushion.
"We had a good start from the very beginning," said Stojakovic, who went 8-of-14 from the floor. "We knew that Utah was shorthanded, but we approached the game seriously and played well. Tonight, we were able to be focused for 48 minutes. It was a good win for us."
Playing without starters Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer, Gordan Giricek and Keith McLeod, the Jazz battled back within 35-32 midway through the second period while Kings coach Rick Adelman rested most of his starters.
"We came out, especially in the first quarter and in the second half, and moved the ball real aggressive offensively," Adelman said. "We played a solid game, except for that one part in the second quarter. I was pleased with the way we approached the game."
With 4:48 remaining, Bibby and Stojakovic returned and combined to score 14 of Sacramento's next 16 points to open a 51-38 lead.
Bibby entered the contest averaging 12.6 points on 37 percent shooting after posting a career-high 19.6 scoring average last season. But he found his shot and, more importantly, involved his teammates as the Kings tied a season high with 28 assists.
"We came out aggressive tonight," said Bibby, who finished with five assists. "We passed the ball, that was the main thing. We shared the ball, and it worked."
Bibby had his best shooting night of the season, connecting on 7-of-10 shots from the floor, 2-of-3 from the arc and 9-of-9 from the line.
"I was a little more aggressive," Bibby said. "I pushed the ball more on made shots and missed shots. We feel we did a good job, that's all you can really ask for."
Sacramento exploded for 43 points in the third quarter to pull away. Bibby scored 12 points and Wells added seven in the quarter for the Kings, who shot 55 percent (41-for-75) from the floor overall.
Wells finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, but Sacramento got little help from its bench. Prior to the fourth quarter, the Kings reserves accounted for just nine of the team's 94 points.
"It was all 1-on-1," Adelman said of his bench's performance. "Sooner or later, you're going to have to go out and do the job. I told them in the fourth quarter to go out and play like they play in practice."
Utah reserve guards Milt Palacio (19 points) and rookie Deron Williams (12) led the way for the Jazz, who have dropped three in a row.
"Everybody seemed overwhelmed with how they played, and we didn't have any energy to compete against them," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.