Sacramento 81, Detroit 75

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SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (TICKER) —The Sacramento Kings have to be happy they have their star back.

Chris Webber came up big down the stretch and Bobby Jackson also had a big fourth quarter, lifting the Kings to an 81-75 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

In his second game back after missing 10 with a sprained ankle, Webber was quiet for the first three quarters before scoring six of his 19 points in the final 76 seconds.

Webber had three straight baskets for his team after the Pistons closed to 74-72 with 1:31 remaining on a jumper by Richard Hamilton.

“It wasn’t a great shooting night for us, so you just gotta keep shooting it,” said Webber, who went 9-of-24 from the field. “I just wanted the ball late in the game and was fortunate I got it. I felt I had a lot of good missed shots, back of the rim and in and out. I just wanted to take those same shots and be in position to help our team win it right there.”

Earlier in the fourth, Jackson netted eight of his 14 points in an 11-0 run that gave the Kings a double-digit lead.

Peja Stojakovic also scored 14 points for Sacramento, which completed a 6-1 homestand with its lowest-scoring victory of the season.

“It was a tough win for us,” Kings coach Rick Adelman said. “They’re a tough team. We couldn’t seem to find a way to pull away or open things up.”

Hamilton finished with 18 points and Ben Wallace grabbed 18 rebounds for the Pistons, who suffered their season-high fourth straight loss.

Playing for the fourth time in five nights, Detroit slowed the tempo for much of the contest and trailed just 57-56 entering the fourth quarter.

“Our energy was exceptional,” Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. “I thought we played hard. We didn’t always play particularly well in the game, but we controlled the tempo the way we wanted to. We put ourselves in position to win. Their shot-making got them by again. They threw in some very difficult shots down the stretch. They were just able to make a couple of more plays than we were.”

Hamilton also did not think fatigue was a factor.

“No, not at all,” he said. “We played aggressive and made them play our game. They scored 81 points when they usually score over 100. We had a shot, but Chris Webber made some big shots at the end of the game.”

Webber, who hit just 5-of-19 shots in the first three quarters, started the fourth by making a hook shot. After the teams traded baskets, it looked like the Kings would take control.

Vlade Divac converted a hook shot and Jackson had a steal and layup, triggering the 11-0 burst. Jackson capped the run with a jumper, pushing the lead to 70-58 with 7:38 remaining.

“They were just giving me shots,” Jackson said. “Those are the shots I have to take. I was feeling real comfortable coming off the screen-and-roll and pulling up for the short jumper. I’m starting to get the flow back. It feels good to get back to the old Bobby Jackson. It’s very important to have that feeling after being out two months. It’s coming. I felt good tonight.”

The Pistons responded with a 14-4 run, featuring seven points from Corliss Williamson, to pull within 74-72 with 1:31 left.

Webber answered with consecutive hook shots over the outstretched arm of the 6-10 Clifford Robinson for a six-point lead with 65 seconds to play.

Chauncey Billups sank a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession and Williamson was fouled by Jim Jackson on the play. Williamson could not convert from the line, leaving the deficit at three points with 47 seconds to go.

Williamson finished with 13 points and Billups and Robinson each had 12 for the Pistons, who shot just 36 percent (30-of-83).

Webber sealed it with 17 seconds remaining, hitting another hook over Robinson.

In an otherwise ugly game for the Pistons, Wallace was a bright spot. The NBA’s leading rebounder grabbed 10 boards in the first quarter, helping Detroit build a 26-17 lead.

After Mehmet Okur drilled a 3-pointer with 6:53 left in the half, the Pistons managed just one more basket before intermission as the Kings forged a 37-37 tie at the break.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
C. Robinson C. Robinson
5-16,  12 Pts
6 Rebs, 5 Assists
V. Divac V. Divac
4-11,  9 Pts
8 Rebs, 5 Assists

Team Stat Leaders