Kings 107, Magic 90
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—The Sacramento Kings took a while to get going, then quickly made up for lost time.
Doug Christie had 13 points and a season-best 12 assists. Sacramento, the NBA leader in assists, had 30 on 38 field goals. The Kings also made all 24 of their foul shots.
Sacramento entered the game as the league’s highest-scoring team, averaging 104.6 points. But after 21 minutes, only 40 points were on the board and the deficit was 10.
The Kings had excuses. They played Saturday, losing in Miami. And because this was the second game in as many nights, Chris Webber rested his surgically repaired left knee.
“It just didn’t look like we had energy the whole first half, almost like we were sleepwalking,” coach Rick Adelman said. “I don’t know if it was the back-to-back or what.”
Sacramento finally woke up on Stojakovic’s three free throws with 2:35 left before halftime. That got the Kings going, and they trailed 54-53 at intermission.
Coming out of the break, Stojakovic and Christie hit consecutive 3-pointers to start a run of 12 unanswered points. Stojakovic’s jumper with 9:40 left in the period put the Kings up 65-54, as Sacramento scored 25 points in less than five minutes.
“I think the end of the first half changed the whole momentum,” said Stojakovic, who shot 9-for-17, 3-of-7 on 3 pointers.
Miller credited the turnaround to the timeout called after Juwan Howard’s third straight jumper gave Orlando its largest lead.
“We decided to play with a lot more emotion and energy, and that carried over to the third,” said Miller, 7-for-13 from the field with eight free throws. “When we get on a roll, we get on a roll.”
Orlando scored seven straight points to get the deficit down to four, but Sacramento went on a 14-4 run and the Magic never got back within single digits.
Sacramento’s largest lead was 21 points, 107-86 with 1:54 left.
“We came out in the third quarter, we didn’t play particularly well, and they just got away from us and we couldn’t respond,” Orlando coach Johnny Davis said.
Drew Gooden sat out because of infected hair follicles on his right leg.
McGrady, going for his second straight scoring title, missed 11 of 15 shots.
“I really didn’t have that feeling, like I was going to have an outstanding game,” said McGrady, now averaging 27.5 points—a half-point ahead of Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson.
“Also, they were doing a great job of loading up every time I got the ball; Vlade (Divac) was walking over there, just making me give it up. All night, I was playing out of my comfort zone,” McGrady said.
Added Adelman: “Doug has played with him and knows him pretty well, but wetried to give Doug as much help as could.”
McGrady missed two free throws, the only missed foul shots in the game. Orlando was 17-for-19 from the line. … Until Sunday, Gooden was Orlando’s only player to avoid missing time because of injury. … The Magic’s 122-92 loss at Sacramento on Nov. 21 remains their worst defeat of the season. …Sacramento has won eight of the last 10 meetings against Orlando.