Chris Webber plays big as Kings take out Wizards
Posted: Sunday December 05, 1999 01:27 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- On the bus on the way to the MCI Center, Nick Anderson could tell that Chris Webber was in full payback mode. That meant it was triple-double time.
Drawing a large share of cheers from the MCI Center crowd, Webber had 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against his former team as the Sacramento Kings beat the Washington Wizards 114-104 on Saturday night.
"He wasn't saying a whole lot on the way to the gym," Anderson said. "But you could look at the expression on his face. And it showed on the court."
Webber has 10 career triple-doubles -- including two of the three in the NBA this season -- and five of them have come against either Golden State or Washington, the two teams that have traded him. Last season, he had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in his first game against the Wizards since the May 1998 trade.
"Webb was just terrific," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "He played that way last year when we came here, and he was that way tonight."
Webber hit the trifecta in grand style. Told by teammate Vlade Divac during a timeout that one more assist was needed for the triple-double, Webber stole a pass from Rod Strickland and fed Predrag Stojakovic for a layup with 5:46 remaining to make the score 106-88. The Wizards called timeout, and Webber exchanged hugs with teammates on the court.
"Vlade kept going like this: 'One, Webb, one.' My teammates wanted this more than me," Webber said. "I didn't really care about the outcome as long as we got the win, and that's really serious."
Anderson, who got his payback victory over Orlando five nights earlier, knew better. Overhearing Webber's politically correct answers in the locker room, he yelled: "Don't y'all know to let sleeping dogs sleep? You woke up a dog."
Webber's second-best highlight came after he exchanged heated words with Michael Smith before a jump ball in the third quarter. Webber, clearly agitated, not only won the jump -- he batted the ball straight to Divac for an easy layup and foul.
For Wizards fans, the stinging aspect of this Webber performance is that he's leading his new team to greatness while his old one is mired in malaise. The Kings (11-3) are eight games above .500; the Wizards (5-13) are eight games below.
Coach Gar Heard did not open the locker room until nearly a half-hour after the game -- well past the league-mandated 10-minute time limit.
"I had some things that had to be said," Heard said. "We just talked. It wasn't no heated conversation. Some of the guys finally spoke up and said some things. We have to find a way to weather the storm, but it's a hurricane now."
No one could feel the gloom more than Washington's Mitch Richmond, who was part of the trade for Webber and had wanted to leave the Kings for the Wizards because of Sacramento's longtime reputation as a perennial loser. Richmond made a feisty run in the first quarter, scoring 15 of 19 Wizards points over one stretch, and finished with 23 to lead his team.
"It's real tough to struggle, but I made the right decision," Richmond said. "It was time for me to move on."
Notes: The 2001 All-Star game will be played at the MCI Center, the NBA announced Saturday. ... Wizards center Isaac Austin, playing with a protective mask over a nose broken the night before at Toronto, had to leave the game early in the third quarter after his noggin was accidentally struck by Divac. Blood was mopped off the floor before play resumed, and Austin did not return to the game. ... The Kings shot better than 50 percent (51.1) for the fourth time this season. The Wizards haven't broken the 50-percent barrier yet.
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