SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Play the explosive Sacramento Kings on the wrong night and be prepared for trouble.
The Kings had their best offensive showing of the young season as Peja Stojakovic scored 29 points and Chris Webber had 24 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks Saturday night in a 125-101 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.
The point total was a season-high for the Kings, who have won seven of eight games.
“It really started with defense, we had the energy tonight,” Webber said. “When we play defense, it helps at the other end. We were trying to get to the open spots, places on the floor where we like to shoot. This team is starting to understand each other’s game.”
Webber’s night ended early when he and Vin Baker were ejected with 5:09 left in the game following an altercation under the Kings basket.
“I don’t what he did, Mr. Tough Guy,” Webber said. “I don’t know how it started. It wasn’t that physical. He’s kind of soft, so it isn’t that physical when you play him.
“He just wanted to be tough for a minute and I’ve been nice to him for 2 1/2years. He wanted to get tough, so I had to remind him what time it is.”
The Kings did plenty of talking with their offense, making 50 of 96 shots (52 percent). They had 34 assists and outrebounded Seattle 51-38.
“We couldn’t deal with Chris or Peja tonight,” Sonics coach Paul Westphal said. “The Kings are an explosive team. We did a great job of coming back in the second quarter, then we started the third quarter by taking four quick jump shots and the Kings seemed to score on every trip.”
Gary Payton scored 26 points and Ruben Patterson had 14 points for Seattle, which had won three of four games.
Patrick Ewing was ejected with 2:46 left in the third quarter, picking up two technical fouls after shouting at referee Rashan Michel following an offensive foul. Ewing finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
“When someone gets upset like that, I think that is when you jump on them,” Kings coach Rick Adelman said. “You don’t let them back in it. We did a good job of that.”
Adelman was referring to the third quarter, when the Kings outscored Seattle 35-24 to take a 13-point lead.
After squandering a big first-half lead, the Kings built another one in the third quarter. Christie scored 10 points and Stojakovic had nine as Sacramento led by 19 points and went into the final period ahead 89-77.
“The frustration is building,” said Seattle’s Brent Barry. “It’s a bad seed to be sowing so early in the season. It seems like we’ve been through a lifetime and it’s only 15 games. We’ve had ups and downs all year, we don’t have any answers yet.”
Rookie Hidayet Turkoglu had season-highs of 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, who had 71 second-half points. Doug scored 14 points and had seven assists, Jason Williams added 11 points and 10 assists, and Vlade Divac had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Leading by one point, Christie opened the third period with a jumper and a 3-pointer, igniting an 18-4 run. Christie ended the spurt with another 3-pointer, putting the Kings ahead 72-57 at the 6:50 mark.
Webber scored 16 points and had 10 points, helping Sacramento to a 54-53 lead. Stojakovic had 15 points and Divac scored 10 for the Kings, who led by 16 points in the second quarter.
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