Kings 114, 76ers 105
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Two games into his return from knee surgery, Chris Webber is playing like he’s in midseason form.
Webber was playing his second game of the season for Sacramento, which has won three straight and nine of its last 10 on the road. He had 26 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday in his debut after missing nine months to rehabilitate his knee and serve an eight-game suspension.
“I try to make my expectations high,” Webber said. “I’ve been working hard. I’ve been waiting to get back to this point. It’s hard for me to take it like everybody wants me to take it and ease back into it.”
Allen Iverson rebounded from Wednesday’s 2-for-21 shooting performance to score a team-high 32 for the Sixers, who have lost six of seven. Kenny Thomas recorded his sixth straight double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
With Webber on the bench for the last half of the third quarter, the Sixers ran off a 13-0 run that cut the lead to one. Philadelphia had a short-lived 79-77 advantage with 1:09 left in the quarter, but Sacramento regained the lead on a jumper by Stojakovic and a layup from Mike Bibby. After a free throw from Iverson, Brad Miller hit a 3 at the buzzer to stretch the lead to four.
Webber had seven points and three assists during a 14-3 run that opened the fourth quarter and put the Kings ahead by 15 with 8:24 to play. The Sixers pulled within six in the final minute, but Bibby made five free throws to seal the game.
Bibby had 21 points and Miller added 19 for Sacramento. Webber and Stojakovic combined to go 16-for-17 from the line.
“Time will tell if (the Kings) are the best (team),” Sixers interim coach Chris Ford said. “Certainly the way they play the game, it’s fun to watch them. I know that even if I’m over there taking a drubbing, you have to be impressed.”
Webber said after the game that, although his knee is not 100 percent, there was very little pain or stiffness. He noted his lateral movement on the defensive end is not yet where it should be.
But on the opposite end of the floor, it was typical Webber. The offense ran through him and, when he was not in the game, the Kings struggled. With Webber on the bench, the Sixers outscored Sacramento 49-40.
“I’m just amazed at him,” Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. “The two games he’s played, he’s played at a very high level. He’s shot the ball well. Tonight, he had 10 assists. And I thought he had a couple of huge plays around the basket when he got the offensive boards.”
The Kings held a 27-15 lead 7:57 into the game before Webber was taken out. Iverson, who missed his last 18 field-goal attempts in the previous night’s loss in New York, hit his first four shots and scored 12 points in the opening quarter, including six during a 13-4 run that closed the period and cut the lead to three.
Anthony Peeler and Bibby hit back-to-back 3s to spark a 12-0 Sacramento spurt early in the second that helped the Kings regain their 12-point lead. Stojakovic had nine of Sacramento’s last 11 first-half points to help make it 61-47 at halftime.
The Kings had 22 assists on 22 first-half field goals, while shooting 55 percent and going 6-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Sacramento swept the season series and has won seven straight against the Sixers.
Philadelphia F Glenn Robinson was booed when he exited the game late in the first half. Robinson, who missed two games over the weekend with elbow synovitis, did not return after experiencing more pain in the joint. X-rays were negative and he will be evaluated Friday. G Aaron McKie played a season-low three minutes. … Sixers general manager Billy King addressed the fines levied against Allen Iverson for missing a practice and a game in the last three weeks. King, who had been silent on the issue, said Thursday that he fully supports the fines and interim coach Chris Ford’s decision to bench Iverson for the start of a Feb. 17 loss in Denver. “If I didn’t, you would have heard by now,” King said. … Jevon Kearse, the free agent defensive end signed by the Eagles on Thursday and safety Brian Dawkins received a standingovation when announced to the crowd.