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Arco magic

Kings prevail in OT despite Delk's 53, Webber's ejection

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Posted: Wednesday January 03, 2001 1:02 AM
Updated: Wednesday January 03, 2001 10:20 AM

  Vlade Divac, Shawn Marion Sacramento's Vlade Divac plays the victim during this Shawn Marion dunk. AP

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- With their leader in the locker room and their ex-teammate hitting every shot in sight, the Sacramento Kings still eked out an unlikely victory.

On a night of superlatives and surprises, the Kings survived 53 points by Tony Delk and Chris Webber's ejection to beat the Phoenix Suns 121-117 in overtime on Tuesday night.

Vlade Divac scored a career-high 34 points and Jason Williams had nine points in overtime for the Kings, who improved to 14-2 at home in one of the most difficult ways imaginable.

"This was the best team win you could hope for," Divac said. "It would have been very bad for us to lose this one."

Sacramento overcame an unbelievable performance by Delk, who was Williams' backup last season. Delk more than doubled his previous career-high of 26 while shooting 20-of-27 and scoring more points than anyone in Arco Arena's history.

"I just felt good," said Delk, who hadn't been so prolific since scoring 70 points in a high school game. "I think a lot of guys around the league can score like that when given the opportunity, and it was just one of those nights."

Suns at Kings
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Chris Webber gets tossed, but the Kings still weather Tony Delk's scoring spree. Start
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But it wasn't enough to beat the Kings. They won with an unlikely combination of offense from Divac, including a game-tying layup with six seconds left in regulation, and tenacious play from Williams.

The flashy point guard is almost always yanked from the Kings' lineup late in close games because of his poor defense. But with coach Rick Adelman pointedly leaving the game in Williams' hands in overtime, he hit a 3-pointer and a tough layup, then made four free throws in the final 14 seconds to put the game away.

The Kings matched Philadelphia's league-best 21-8 record and increased their Western Conference lead over the Lakers and the Trail Blazers. Peja Stojakovic matched his career-high with 33 points, though he went scoreless in the fourth quarter and overtime.

"Peja was terrific the first three quarters, Vlade was terrific, Jason came in and made some great plays at the end," Adelman said. "It was just a great team win with Chris out of there."

Divac, a 12-year veteran who has been criticized for his lack of offensive production this year, scored 22 points after halftime and also grabbed 12 rebounds. Stojakovic hit five 3-pointers.

"I was thinking Peja and I definitely need to be more aggressive with Chris out of there," Divac said. "I had to step up, so I did."

The Suns played without Tom Gugliotta, who served a one-game suspension for fighting Toronto's Corliss Williamson last week. The Kings lost Webber midway through the first quarter after he engaged in a heated, lengthy argument with the officials.

Shawn Marion and Rodney Rogers scored 16 points apiece for Phoenix, which relied almost entirely on Delk for its offense. Even Williams' defense couldn't be faulted against Delk, who scored 31 points after halftime and spent almost the entire game in some sort of shooter's trance.

"He made easy shots, he made tough shots," Phoenix coach Scott Skiles said. "I think the guys were looking for him and finding him."

Delk hit his previous career-high early in the third quarter and never cooled down. His shooting accuracy was all the more unbelievable because nearly all his shots were jumpers, and he also went 13-of-15 from the free throw line.

Stifling Sacramento
The Kings are the only team in the NBA to have not allowed an opponent to shoot over 50 percent from the field in a game.

Sacramento is first in the league in 3-point field-goal defense (.299), second in defensive rebounds (32.5 rpg), third in turnovers forced (18.4 tpg), first in steals (9.86 spg) and sixth in blocks (5.86 bpg). 

"The way he was shooting the ball, everyone in the stands knew we were going to ride him until the end of the game," Jason Kidd said. "We missed a great opportunity at the end [of regulation], and we wasted a great game."

Webber's ejection just seven minutes in was the start of a bad-tempered night for both teams. Divac got a technical foul in the fourth quarter after jockeying and jawing with Phoenix's Chris Dudley and Clifford Robinson. Rogers and Scot Pollard also drew late technicals.

The game was tied when Delk missed a 10-foot jumper with 35 seconds left in regulation, but Williams' bad pass gave Shawn Marion a breakaway layup with 19 seconds left before Sacramento tied it on Divac's layup.

Kidd, who had 12 points and a season-high 17 assists, missed a runner and Paul McPherson missed a tip at the buzzer.

Notes: Delk, whose career scoring average is 8.0 points, has the lowest average of any player ever to score 50. ... Stojakovic, the Kings' second-leading scorer with a 19.0 average, set his career high just three days ago, when he had 33 in the Kings' overtime loss to Philadelphia. ... Webber took at least three minutes to leave the court after his ejection. He tried several times to confront officials Steve Javie and Bennie Adams, but teammates and coach Rick Adelman held him back. ... Sacramento made 20 turnovers, but just three in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Related information
SI's Marty Burns: Old-time Jazz
Off the Glass: Hold on to those leftovers
Game Summary: Suns-Kings
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