Sacramento (44-15) at Philadelphia (24-37)

  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Thu Mar 4, 2004
  • TV: TNT, TNT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Sacramento Kings already owned the best record in the NBA without Chris Webber.

With their star power forward back in the lineup, the Kings look to increase their lead in the hotly contested Western Conference as they open a three-game East Coast swing against the struggling Philadelphia 76ers.

Webber had 26 points and 12 rebounds in just 30 minutes during his season debut Tuesday, helping Sacramento to a 113-106 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kings lead second-place Minnesota by one game in the high-powered West.

Webber missed the first part of this season after injuring his knee in the second round of last season’s playoffs. He also served an eight-game suspension for lying to a grand jury and violating the NBA’s drug policy before he was allowed to return Tuesday.

However, the five-time All-Star didn’t show any rust in his first game back.

“This gives us a really good idea of how he can be and what he can do,” said Kings coach Rick Adelman. “I never expected him to play like he did tonight. He was just very aggressive and explosive, and had a good feel to the game. He just fit in.”

Brad Miller, who gave up his starting spot to Webber, and Peja Stojakovic each had 23 points for the Kings, who face Philadelphia, Miami and Orlando— all sub-.500 teams—on their trip.

The Kings have won six in a row against Philadelphia.

The Sixers are coming off Wednesday’s 88-77 loss to the New York Knicks— their fifth defeat in six games. Allen Iverson returned after missing four games with a bruised shoulder, but was a brutal 2-for-21 from the field for 11 points.

“I can’t remember the last time I was struggling like that, not just missing shots but missing layups,” Iverson said. “Even guys on the other team were asking me if I was all right. I couldn’t understand it.”

Glenn Robinson also returned after missing two games with a sore elbow and scored 10 points for Philadelphia, which got 21 points and 11 rebounds from Kenny Thomas.

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