Wizards 114, Kings 108

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WASHINGTON (AP)—Perhaps Michael Jordan was right about Kwame Brown.

Brown, chosen by Jordan three years ago as the first high school player to go No. 1 overall in the NBA draft, had career-highs of 30 points and 19 rebounds while playing all 48 minutes Wednesday night to lead Washington to a 114-108 victory over Sacramento.

Brown shot 12-for-16 from the field and 6-for-7 at the free-throw line, including two free throws with 23.6 seconds left to give the Wizards a 113-105 lead. Washington snapped its seven-game losing streak.

“He just has a big confidence aura about himself, just taking the ball to the basket,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “He was real sharp with his post moves, his face-ups and finishing at the rim. He was really sharp.”

Brown said the Wizards’ 114-110 overtime loss Tuesday night in New York made him anxious for a shot at the Kings, who lost 94-77 on Tuesday at New Jersey.

“We knew they were going to underestimate us,” Brown said. “The loss in New York, I think, made everybody hungry. We said we were going to come out here and play hard again. With that intensity, we played hard with a team that underestimated us.

“I just felt confident tonight. I hit a couple of shots, and I felt like I couldn’t miss. I wanted the ball every time down,” Brown said.

Gilbert Arenas had 27 points, 10 assists, a career-high eight steals and five rebounds. He also played the entire game.

Jerry Stackhouse came off the bench for the second night in a row with 21 points and seven assists.

“Stackhouse was a true leader out there,” Eddie Jordan said. “He had a lot of confidence and a good cockiness about himself… We missed him a lot this year and that’s what we miss—not just his baskets, not just his defense, but that sort of confidence, that sort of leadership.”

Mitchell Butler, making his second consecutive start for the Wizards, had a season-high 13 points, a career-high eight assists and five rebounds in 44 minutes.

Peja Stojakovic led Sacramento with 25 points and Mike Bibby added 20 as the Kings lost their third in a row. Doug Christie added 17 points and seven assists. Chris Webber finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

With a victory, the Kings would have secured their sixth consecutive playoff berth and reached the 50-win plateau for the fourth straight season. It also would have marked their fourth consecutive season in which they’ve won 20 or more games on the road.

Sacramento did clinch a playoff spot when Portland and Utah lost, but the other milestones will have to wait at least until Friday when the Kings play at Indiana.

“We had 20 turnovers,” Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. “They got offensive rebounds and we didn’t defend very well in the second half, so I guess that adds up to a loss.

“Kwame Brown had a great game. He was very active on the boards.”

Brown failed to block a shot but had two steals and committed two fouls.

“He was just as good defensively,” Eddie Jordan said. “But his focus and his efficiency at the offensive end with his power and his quickness, it just all came together.”

Added Stackhouse: “He’s growing up. He’s getting better. To have 30 points and 19 rebounds and play the way he did was huge.”

Stackhouse gave Washington a 105-97 lead on a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:54 left.

Four free throws by Brad Miller and two by Mike Bibby pulled the Kings to 105-103 with 2:00 remaining.

Butler answered with a jumper for a 107-103 lead with 1:36 left, and Stackhouse assisted Etan Thomas on a dunk. The Wizards made five of six free throws in the final 1:01 to secure the victory.

Stackhouse capped a 13-2 run with a 3-pointer to give the Wizards a 71-66 lead with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter. He went on to score 10 of Washington’s last 16 points of the quarter as the Wizards held an 84-75 lead after three.

Brown, who made his first seven shots, had 16 points, five rebounds and two assists in the first quarter. Stojakovic was nearly as hot at the other end, scoring 13 in the period.

“It is a shame when you let someone get their career points and rebounds against you,” Webber said. “We are not proud of that. But in saying that, Kwame is a great, young talent and he has worked hard and deserves it.”

Brown took only two shots in the second quarter, but Stackhouse came off the bench to score seven points and keep the Wizards within five at halftime.

Notes

Brown’s previous career-high was 25 points, which he reached twice earlier this season … Adelman remained one victory shy of passing Les Harrison as the winningest coach in Kings’ history… The Wizards had allowed at least 108 points in each of their last six losses. This time they held theiropponent to 108 and won.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Sacramento
B. Miller B. Miller
4-9,  14 Pts
8 Rebs, 6 Assists
 Washington
K. Brown K. Brown
12-16,  30 Pts
19 Rebs, 3 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists