Bibby Helps Kings Outgun Bucks
Sacramento 123, Milwaukee 116
MILWAUKEE, March 8 (Ticker) -- Looking to head home from a five-game road trip on an upbeat note, the Sacramento Kings turned to Mike Bibby to lead the way.
Bibby scored 36 points and Bonzi Wells and Kenny Thomas added 19 each as the Kings won for the fifth time in six games with a 123-116 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
"We need every game from here on out," Bibby said. "We need a couple of strings like nine out of 10, nine out of 11 games and we'll be in the playoffs. We're right there."
"If we were to have this energy that we have now since the beginning of the season, things would be different," Thomas said. "We wanted to start the season out better but we never really got the opportunity to do it. Now is the time we really need it. We're doing what we're supposed to do."
Bibby made 10-of-20 shots, including four from behind the arc, and hit all 12 free throws. He scored 17 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer with a minute remaining to give Sacramento a 64-53 lead.
"We moved the ball a lot in the first half," Bibby said. "Once the ball (is) moving like that, a lot of good things happen for us. We were hitting our shots. We came out big in this one and we need every game from here on out."
After Bibby made another 3-pointer to give Sacramento a 108-95 edge with 4:08 to play, Milwaukee gradually chipped away and got within 118-113 when Michael Redd drained a 3-pointer with 33 seconds to go.
However, Bibby and Wells went 5-of-6 from the line down the stretch to seal the win.
"Mike (has) been tremendous on the road, and especially in the fourth quarter," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "Bonzi hit a number of big shots off the bench.
"We had a good trip. We played consistent. Tonight, we came out tough and played well offensively. We felt if we could make a few stops and maintain our momentum, we could pull it out."
Sacramento shot nearly 52 percent (41-of-79) and had six players in double figures. Kevin Martin scored 16 points, Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 14 and Brad Miller 10 with 11 of the Kings' 31 assists.
"Thirty-one assists. If we do that every game we'll be winning a lot more games," Miller said. "It's another sign that everyone (is) sharing the ball and that we have a lot of guys that can shoot it.
"It's important for us. We had more road games than home games after the break. We have to play well on the road to make the playoffs. It's been a nice start."
Milwaukee (29-31) lost to Sacramento for the ninth time in 10 meetings and remains in eighth place in the East, 2 1/2 games in front of Chicago and one behind Philadelphia for seventh.
"We need to get a win. That's all I can say," Redd said. "Buckle down and play with some urgency. Play like we're playing for our lives and we have to do that every single night now."
Redd scored 32 points, T.J. Ford added 24 with 12 assists and Bobby Simmons 21 points for the Bucks, who have lost four straight at home.
"We want to win," Simmons said. "We'll play one game at a time. I think we played aggressive. You can't score 100 points and not play aggressively."