Kings Reduce Magic Number
Peja Stojakovic scored 19 of his 27 points during a decisive third quarter and the Sacramento Kings defeated the Chicago Bulls, 107-92, Saturday night at Chicago for their sixth consecutive victory.
The Kings’ magic number for winning the Pacific Division dropped to three. Any combination of Sacramento victories and Portland losses totaling three will give Sacramento its second consecutive title.
The Kings put the game out of reach midway through the third quarter when Stojakovic made a layup to key a 17-4 run that gave them an 84-68 lead. Stojakovic scored 10 points during the run.
Sacramento was playing the first of six consecutive road games, going up against a team that lost to the Indiana Pacers by 51 points Friday night -- one of the worse defeats in franchise history.
Eddy Curry led the Bulls with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Tyson Chandler had 15 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks, and Jamal Crawford had 18 points and 10 assists, but the Bulls made only 39% of their shots and were outrebounded, 59-46.
San Antonio 101, Utah 81 -- The Spurs beat the Jazz for the 12th consecutive time and ended Utah’s six-game winning streak.
The Spurs turned a close game at San Antonio into a rout with a 17-0 run beginning late in the third quarter. They led by as many as 31 points in the fourth quarter before the starters went to the bench.
San Antonio, which has won 15 of 18, moved two games behind Midwest Division-leading Dallas with 10 games to play.
Tim Duncan, who played only 32 minutes, scored 30 points for the Spurs. He started the run with a short runner that extended San Antonio’s lead to 68-58 with 3:09 left in the third quarter.
Houston 102, Denver 92 -- The Nuggets dropped to 4-33 on the road, the second worst road record in the NBA.
Houston led, 81-68, at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Nuggets cut the deficit to 89-85 with 3:36 left.
Maurice Taylor then made a jumper, Steve Francis scored on a fastbreak and Taylor made a three-point play to give the Rockets a 96-85 lead with 2:07 left.
Francis had 18 points and tied his season high with 12 assists. Seven Rockets scored in double figures.
Boston 110, Cleveland 106 -- Paul Pierce scored 34 points at Cleveland to help the Celtics break a tie with Orlando for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Ricky Davis scored 38 points for Cleveland, which lost to the Celtics for the second consecutive night and has lost 10 in a row overall against Boston. The Cavaliers also had a three-game home winning streak ended.
New Jersey 109, Golden State 97 -- The Nets limited the Warriors to two baskets in the final 6:30 and won easily at East Rutherford, N.J.
Net power forward Kenyon Martin sprained his right knee on a drive to the basket in the third quarter. He is scheduled to have an MRI exam today.
Philadelphia 110, Atlanta 89 -- Allen Iverson had 38 points, nine assists and eight steals at Atlanta to help the 76ers improve to 18-5 since the All-Star break.
Iverson finished 17 for 25 from the field, missing his only three-point attempt. He made eight consecutive midrange jump shots before missing an 18-footer from the left baseline late in the second quarter.