SACRAMENTO, April 25 (AP)--
This time, the fans in Arco Arena had everything to shout about.
| Jason Williams celebrates the victory.|
| NBA.com TV highlights: 28k |
With the league's most potent offense in devastating form, Peja Stojakovic scored 22 points and Jason Williams
had 18 as the Sacramento Kings evened their first-round playoff series with a 116-90 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night in Game 2.
Led by inspired play from point guards Williams and Bobby Jackson
, who made his first six shots and finished with 16 points, the Kings jumped to a 22-point first-half lead and never let up on the way to the franchise's biggest playoff victory since April 7, 1951.
"Everybody gets open shots when we're moving the ball like that," Jackson said. "It feels great. We were pushing the ball and finally playing our style. We played extremely well."
The Kings didn't even need much help from Chris Webber
, who still had 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Game 3 is Sunday in Phoenix.
Seven Kings scored in double figures as Sacramento shot 57 percent in the first three quarters and made a number of breathtaking passes to incite the fans, who were mostly silent late in Sacramento's Game 1 loss, to deafening noise levels and several second-half standing ovations.
"There was never a doubt in my mind this team would respond," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "We talked about getting back to the way we play. All we did was try to get a flow going. If we lose playing that way, then we're going to lose. But we're not going to lose walking the ball up the floor."
The Kings also clamped down on the Suns, who shot 32.6 percent and couldn't keep up. Tony Delk
scored 14 points- most well after the game was decided- as the Suns headed home to America West Arena.
With home-court advantage in a playoff series for the first time since 1981, the third-seeded Kings quickly gave it away with an 86-83 loss in Game 1 on Sunday. Sacramento didn't pass, didn't rebound and shot horribly while making the Suns look like unstoppable defenders.
From the opening tip in Game 2, Sacramento was back to its normal blend of tight passing and proficient shooting. After a strong first quarter, the Kings made a pair of 8-0 runs in the midst of a 25-8 surge that gave Sacramento a 22-point lead with 3minutes left in the half.
"As a team, if you're not really sharp on the defensive end, they'll make you pay for it," Phoenix coach Scott Skiles said.
The Kings put on a show as well. One minute, Doug Christie
was making a no-look touch pass to Scot Pollard
for a dunk. The next minute, Webber embarrassed Jake Tsakilidis by passing the ball to himself behind the befuddled rookie's back, then hitting Christie for an open jumper.
Williams' regular season included more brushes with NBA discipline than outstanding games, but he was spectacular in Game 2. Wearing sparkly purple sneakers for the first time this season, Williams shot 7-for-11 and kept the Kings' offense moving while also playing strong defense.
Williams and Jackson hit two 3-pointers apiece and went a combined 13-for-18 from the field. Stojakovic also had an impressive game after being held to 5-of-17 shooting by Marion in Game 1, while Vlade Divac
had 10 points and eight rebounds.
"We showed who we can be, and now we'll look forward to the game on Sunday," Divac said. "This time, we jumped on them, and then we didn't let them come back on us."
After the Kings' bumbling performance in Game 1, it was the Suns' turn to look bad. Phoenix shot 31 percent in the first half, missing dozens of open jumpers, and had nowhere near the same success controlling Sacramento's crisp passing.
Marion, Cliff Robinson, Jason Kidd
and Rodney Rogers
combined for 73 points in Game 1, but they shot a combined 10-for-42 on Wednesday night. Though six Suns finished in double figures, only Chris Dudley
-- who went 1-for-1 -- shot better than 50 percent.
The Rochester Royals won the first game of the 1951 NBA championship series 92-65 over the New York Knickerbockers. The Royals -- who made stops in Cincinnati and Kansas City before moving to Sacramento -- won the franchise's only NBA championship that year. ... Kidd got an assist on each of the Suns' first five field goals, while Sacramento made seven turnovers in the first seven minutes. ... The Kings won't travel to Phoenix until Saturday afternoon. ... The Kings haven't played a playoff game in Phoenix since 1981. In three trips to the postseason, Webber still hasn't led the Kings to a road victory.