Mike Bibby scored the Kings’ last 15 points—including a go-ahead bucket with 10.3 seconds left—in an 88-87 home win over New Jersey on Monday. Sacramento (16-23) rallied from a 20-point deficit behind Bibby, who finished with 16 points after going 0-for-6 from the field with a free throw in the first three quarters.
“We need a guy like that to finish games for us,” Kings coach Eric Musselman said. “Tonight, he showed what he can do. That’s not easy to do when your shot’s not falling. You have to believe we’re going to come through it.”
The win was Sacramento’s second in three games after losing a season-high seven straight. The Kings are last in the Pacific Division, 1 1/2 games behind fourth-place Golden State and three games in back of the third-place Los Angeles Clippers.
“I had a lot of help out there,” said Bibby, who averages 17.5 points this season, but has topped his average just once in his last seven games. “Everybody kept playing hard, playing tough. I see us in practice every day, so I know we’re better than what we’ve been seeing in games.”
Ron Artest scored 21 points and Brad Miller had nine points and 10 rebounds. But Kevin Martin struggled for the second straight game, scoring 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting—well below his team-high 20.6 point average. Martin has scored 15 points on 4-for-19 shooting in his last two games.
With the win, the Kings snapped a four-game losing streak at Arco Arena where they are 11-11. Sacramento went 27-14 at home in 2005-06, the only time this decade it had lost more than 11 home games in a season.
Michael Redd, Charlie Villanueva and Mo Williams combined for 66 points in Milwaukee’s 104-91 home win over Sacramento on Nov. 4. Those players, though, will not be in uniform for this contest as they continue to recover from injuries.
Redd, the team’s leading scorer at 27.7 points, has missed the last eight games with a strained left patellar tendon. Villanueva is day-to-day with a shoulder injury, and Williams is expected to out the remainder of the month with a right shoulder sprain.
Those still healthy for the Bucks (17-24) will try avoid a fifth consecutive loss as they close a four-game road trip. Milwaukee has lost nine of its last 10 games and is 8-17 on the road.
Charlie Bell scored 24 points and had six rebounds as the Bucks lost 115-96 to the Clippers on Tuesday. Milwaukee, which averages 100.5 points per game, is averaging just 87.6 points on the trip.
“There is definitely frustration, but there is no quit in them,” Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. “Charlie and Earl (Boykins) played the entire first half and third quarter. They are out there giving it their all. Nobody in the locker room likes losing, and we are going to get a win soon.”
If the Bucks are to salvage a win on this trip, they’ll need a better performance from center Andrew Bogut, who had six points and two rebounds Tuesday before fouling out. The top overall pick in 2005, Bogut had 21 points and eight rebounds against Sacramento in the first meeting this season.
Despite being last in the Central Division, the Bucks are 10-8 against the Western Conference this season.