SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 29 (Ticker) -- When they absolutely needed to, Mike Bibby and the Sacramento Kings turned things around.

Bibby scored 31 points to lead a balanced attack as the Kings got back into their Western Conference first-round series with a 116-104 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.

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"We're in the playoffs now," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "We had to play this game like it was our last. And we have to do the same on Sunday."

The sixth-seeded Kings rebounded from a pair of disheartening losses in Seattle in which they displayed none of their firepower. The primary culprit was Bibby, their floor leader who made just 8-of-30 shots, including 0-of-7 3-pointers.

Back in raucous Arco Arena, Bibby found things more to his liking. He drained 11-of-21 shots, including his first 3-pointer of the series, as he led all five starters in double figures.

"The fans helped us out a lot," said Bibby, who also had team highs of seven rebounds and four assists. "We came in here to try to get momentum going. We jumped out to a big lead in the first quarter and kept rolling."

Bibby was prominent in many positives for Sacramento. He scored 10 points in the first quarter, helped the Kings build a 21-point second-quarter lead and turned back a rally by the SuperSonics in the final period.

"I knew I'd bounce back," Bibby said. "I didn't shoot the ball (well) in that first game. If I had any contribution in that game at all, I thought we would have won that game. I shot a lot of extra shots last night. I'm just trying to get it to a three-game series."

"I think Mike Bibby was very focused and determined tonight to push his team to a victory, moreso than our leaders were," Seattle center Jerome James said. "I've been waiting for (Bibby) to show up. He came out tonight and announced his presence with authority."

Kenny Thomas scored a playoff career-high 22 points, Cuttino Mobley added 21 and Brad Miller 14 for the Kings, who shot 49 percent (39-of-79) and sank 33-of-36 free throws. That was more than enough to overcome their repeated shortcomings on the backboards.

"We came out and played hard," Thomas said. "(My game) just happened. I was just trying to put the ball on the floor and go to the hole and James pretty much couldn't stay with me because he's a 7-footer. I'm a lot quicker than him, so I was getting to the basket real well."

Ray Allen scored 33 points and James had another big game with 22 and nine rebounds for third-seeded Seattle. That was not enough for the Sonics to overcome some early turnovers and a poor game by All-Star forward Rashard Lewis, who managed just nine points on 2-of-10 shooting and did not speak with reporters afterward.

"I don't think the game was much different than the first two," Allen said. "Bibby was just making his shots. The same shots he was missing in Game One, he was taking tonight and making them. Brad Miller got off to a good start. That's where their confidence started turning."

Game Four is here Sunday. The Kings have not been eliminated in the first round since 2000 and are 5-0 at home when trailing in a series during that span.

Seattle committed nine turnovers in the first quarter and fell into a 31-19 hole. Bibby had a hoop and free throw and BobbyJackson added a basket to open the second period and give Sacramento a 36-19 advantage.

"Once the crowd got into the game, they got confidence and momentum," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "When a team is putting up those type of numbers in one quarter, you're going to lose."

Miller made three straight hoops and Bibby drained a jumper to give the Kings their largest lead at 48-27 with 5:18 to play. Allen responded with two three-point plays and a 3-pointer in a 14-1 run that cut the deficit to eight points just over two minutes later.

Thomas scored 12 points in the third quarter to keep the Sonics from getting any closer than seven points. Bibby's 3-pointer made it 97-85 early in the final period and he added a three-point play and two free throws for a 106-93 advantage with 6:22 remaining.

"We had to take care of home court," Mobley said. "All we have to do is tie it up (Sunday) and it's a three-game series."