Bibby, Kings Win Big Over Nets
Sacramento 109, New Jersey 84
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., March 6 (Ticker) -- Sacramento Kings teammates Mike Bibby and Brad Miller were nearly perfect. The New Jersey Nets were far from it.
Bibby scored 23 of his 29 points in the first half and Miller had 21 points as the Kings rolled to a 109-84 rout of the Nets.
After a 10-point first quarter, Bibby singlehandedly turned a one-point lead into a 10-point halftime cushion for the Kings. He buried three 3-pointers in a span of 1:52 before capping an 11-2 run by turning a steal into a fast-break layup that gave Sacramento a 58-48 edge at the break.
"I was just trying to be more aggressive," Bibby said. "It might have (deflated the Nets). I'm not going to say that it was the main cause of us winning the game."
"It was huge for us going into halftime," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "Mike just carried us in the first half, then other guys came through in the second half. I don't know how (the Nets) felt about it, but it was huge for us."
The Nets never recovered as the Kings opened the second half with eight straight points sparked by a jumper from Miller, who was 4-for-4 in the third quarter and made his final nine shots, most of them from the perimeter. His only miss came on a 16-footer 1:39 into the game.
"Mike hit some big shots and it just boiled over to everybody," Miller said. "If you work on them enough, you're going to make them."
"They got us a couple of different ways," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said. "They got 22 points on pick-and-rolls ... they got 22 points in transition, go to the line 30 times, every which way."
New Jersey went 5:50 without a basket - missing 10 straight shots - before Richard Jefferson made a layup with 8:52 left in the third to pull within 66-50. But the Nets did not get closer, making only 14-of-44 shots in the second half.
"We got good looks, but we missed some shots we normally make and it led to them scoring," Nets guard Jason Kidd said. "We didn't defend early on and that opened the floodgates."
Bibby dished out 10 assists and Bonzi Wells added 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Sacramento, which led by as many as 28 in the fourth quarter and improved to 3-1 on a five-game road trip.
"We've certainly put ourselves in position to have a great trip," Adelman said. "Now we have to do it in Milwaukee on Wednesday. It's a big win for us."
The Kings (29-31) are two games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.
New Jersey shot just 37 percent (33-of-89) and lost for just the third time in its last 18 home games. It was the Nets' worst loss at home since a 118-82 loss to the Kings on January 9, 2003.
"I think we ran out of bullets," Frank said. "We couldn't make shots. We probably got a little bit frustrated."
Vince Carter led the Nets with 21 points on 8-of-22 shooting and Jefferson finished with 18 and eight rebounds. Kidd collected 10 points and 11 assists.
New Jersey (32-27) had its lead in the Atlantic Division reduced to two games over Philadelphia.