Posted: Sunday December 05, 1999 12:21 AM
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- If the Sacramento Kings ever get rid of Chris Webber, they can expect him to come back at them with a vengeance.
For the second straight season, Webber had a triple-double against his previous team, collecting 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Kings to a 114-104 victory over the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards traded Webber to the Kings for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe in May 1998 and paid the price February 25, when Webber returned to Washington and had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 115-105 win.
It was more of the same tonight as Webber notched the 10th triple-double of his career and second this season. He also had one against New Jersey on November 23.
"It wasn't like it was me against the Wizards," Webber said.
"I'm at peace now. Last time, it was different. Tonight, it was very important to win."
However, Kings teammate Nick Anderson said Webber had "that look" in his eye before taking the court.
"You could see it on his face and you could see it out on the floor," said Anderson, who scored 12 points. "He was ready to play tonight. And Michael Smith helped him get riled up just a tad bit more."
Smith and Webber exchanged heated words while lining up for a jump ball with 6:04 left in the third quarter. Webber stole the tip to Vlade Divac, who converted it for a three-point play and a 73-59 lead.
Webber insisted that he did not know he was near a triple-double until Divac told him.
"They wanted this before I wanted it," Webber said. "I wasn't even aware of it until Vlade told me that I needed one assist."
Webber's steal from Rod Strickland and cross-court shovel pass to Predrag Stojakovic for a 106-88 lead with 5:43 left did the trick. The Kings coasted from there and improved to 2-2 on their five-game road trip.
Corliss Williamson scored 21 points for Sacramento, which had all but one starter in double figures. The lone single-digit scorer was Jason Williams, who wowed the the MCI Center crowd of 19,220 with dazzling no-look passes and high-flying drives. He finished with seven points and nine assists.
Mitch Richmond scored 15 of his 23 points in the first quarter for the Wizards (5-13), who faded fast when he lost the hot hand. Richmond shot 8-of-13 and Washington finished at 45 percent (35-of-78) while Sacramento shot 51 percent (48-of-94).
Washington's last lead of the game came at 25-23 on Richmond's driving layup with 2:51 remaining in the first quarter.
The Kings closed the period with a 14-2 run and eventually built a 60-46 lead on Divac's hook with 2:31 left in the second quarter. They never were seriously threatened thereafter.
Washington coach Gar Heard had a 29-minute postgame talk with his players before addressing the media. The Wizards have lost three in a row to drop to 5-13 overall and 3-7 at home.
"I'm sorry about that," Heard said. "But I had some things that had to be said. We just talked. It wasn't heated conversation.
We're going to find the answer. We have 64 games left and we're going to find the answer to why we aren't playing well at home.
"We have to find a way to weather the storm, but it's a hurricane now. I still have faith in this team."
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