Martin Propels Kings to Rout of Bulls
Sacramento 98, Chicago 80
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 9 (Ticker) -- Kevin Martin and Mike Bibby continued to show that the Sacramento Kings have regained their home-court advantage.
Martin scored all but three of his 23 points in the first half and Bibby scored 13 of his 20 after the break as the Kings cruised to their seventh straight home win, a 98-80 victory over the road-weary Chicago Bulls.
"It seemed like we wanted this tonight," Bibby said. "Everybody's coming together. We've been playing great our last couple games here. Now we need to see if it carries over in Phoenix (on Friday)."
Already in the midst of their best home winning streak this season, the Kings seemed to be in control from the outset as Martin scored nine points and Bibby added seven while Sacramento built a 24-15 lead in the first 12 minutes.
Bulls forward Tyson Chandler, who had four points and 16 rebounds, admitted the team was tired after Thursday's 110-107 triumph in Denver.
"We definitely were gassed from last night, but this is the NBA and we needed to step it up," he said. "They jumped on us early and we never reacted to it, never gave a spark the entire game."
Things got worse in the second period for the Bulls, who played the sixth game of their season-high seven-game road trip. Martin scored 11 points in the quarter as the Kings' bulge grew to 51-30.
Martin has averaged 22 points on 71 percent shooting (20-of-28) over the last three games, including 10-of-16 from the arc and 15-of-15 at the line in place of the injured Bonzi Wells.
"A couple of months ago, I was lacking confidence and wasn't too comfortable out there," Martin said. "Now, coach has confidence in me and I've got confidence in myself."
Despite shooting just 41 percent (31-of-76) from the field, Sacramento was ahead by as many as 31 points in the third quarter and never led by less than 20 until the final seconds of contest.
Chicago was just 30-of-90 (33 percent) from the floor as Sacramento held its opponent under 100 points for the sixth time in seven games since the arrival of former Defensive Player of the Year Ron Artest, who collected nine points and a season-high seven assists.
"We're challenging shots, getting hands on passes, helping teammates and seeing what the other team is doing," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "It's nice to see the activity."
"(Artest) is a veteran on the defensive end, so he's telling us what to do almost every timeout," Martin said. "There's not one timeout when he's not in our ear. We're just going to keep on taking what he says and doing it."
Reserves Andres Nocioni and Darius Songaila scored 14 points apiece for the Bulls, who have lost five of six on the road trip.
"We got it close and they just turned it on, and we didn't have an answer for it," Chicago coach Scott Skiles said.