SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 27 (Ticker) --
The Sacramento Kings played
great team basketball to extend their home winning streak. If
they want to make a playoff push, they will have to do that on
scored a career-high 25 points to lead six players
in double figures and the Kings had 33 assists in their 10th
straight home victory, a 115-91 rout of the Portland Trail
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Sacramento (25-30) has climbed out of an early season hole to
get within 2 1/2 games of the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth
and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Kings
have not missed the playoffs since 1998.
"We've been playing really hard at home and guys have been
stepping up," Kings forward Ron Artest
said. "Kevin stepped up
again. We just need to bring this intensity with us on the
road. I think we'll be fine on this trip as long as we play
"We have to go on the road and win," Martin said. "This road
trip is going to determine if we make it to the playoffs or not.
Now we just have to take it on the road, like our fans are
However, the Kings, who are just 7-19 away from home, embark on
a five-game Eastern Conference road trip beginning Wednesday.
Monday's affair proved to be a great going-away party as
Sacramento quickly jumped on Portland, which has lost six
straight and 10 of its last 11.
A second-year shooting guard, Martin scored 13 points in the
opening period as the Kings took a 30-26 lead despite allowing
the Trail Blazers to shoot 60 percent (12-of-20) from the field.
"Mike (Bibby) got me involved in the game early," Martin said.
"He threw me a couple of passes and once I get a couple of hoops
and then the crowd gets going, it gets me more involved and it
just makes it easier for everybody."
Sacramento took control on the second quarter as it closed the
half with a 24-12 burst, building a 60-45 lead. Brad Miller
who had 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, scored nine
points during the charge.
"I don't want to make much of this game," Blazers coach
said. "We cannot come in here and have a few guys play
hard and other guys not giving the effort."
also scored 16 points and handed out seven assists
while Artest added 12 and eight for the Kings, who led by as
many as 27 points in the second half and never were threatened
at any point after the break.
"When we are clicking on the offensive end, making shots, you
get your teammates involved," Artest said. "That's what I was
trying to do tonight."
"It was a good win," said former Trail Blazer
, who scored 15 points. "Anytime you can go out and
beat a team pretty well, it's fun."
, who was traded from Sacramento to Portland as
part of a four-team, nine-player deal Thursday, scored a
season-high 17 points for the Blazers, who have the West's worst
Skinner was critical of Sacramento's coaching staff, complaining
that his limited playing time had little to do with his talent.
"I have an opportunity to play in Portland," said Skinner, who
averaged just over 11 minutes a game with the Kings. "It was
politics in terms of who was going to play and who wasn't going
to play. You have to deal with that and go through it. You
can't really complain about it ... that's not going to change