With newcomer Brad Miller making his debut in place of injured
Chris Webber, Sacramento's starters were sharp in their first game
since losing in the second round of last season's playoffs.
"Overall, I was pleased," Kings coach Rick Adelman said.
"After just four days of practicing, I thought we were pretty good
on offense. We didn't rebound the way we need to, but I think it
was a good start."
The Kings led for all but the first four minutes, and they put
it away with a 12-1 run to start the fourth quarter.
Gerald Wallace punctuated the rally with a fantastic driving
dunk among three defenders. In his third season after leaving
Alabama as a freshman, Wallace should get a significant role with
the Kings following the departures of Hedo Turkoglu and Jim
Wallace scored seven points, but went 2-for-10.
Miller, acquired from Indiana in the offseason in a three-team
trade, had 12 points and three rebounds, but struggled to stay with
Elton Brand on defense. Miller also dropped by the scorers' table
for frequent updates on his beloved Chicago Cubs' playoff game.
"It wasn't too bad," Miller said of his opening-night jitters.
"I've been through this a few times before. I'm still trying to
figure out the system and trying to figure out the guys, so I can
play the game the way I like to play."
Vlade Divac added seven points, eight rebounds and five assists
"Obviously, we weren't very pleased," Dunleavy said. "We had
too many turnovers and allowed too many transition baskets. We have
a lot of new guys learning a new system, so we didn't expect the
Quentin Richardson scored 20 points, hitting four 3-pointers in
Odom's place at shooting guard. Melvin Ely had four points and
eight rebounds while playing solid defense at center, and Predrag
Drobnjak scored 12 points.
Brand had 15 points and 10 rebounds, but the Clippers made 23
"I think that's exactly what we needed," Brand said of the
opener. "We see what we need to do to raise our level. We played a
good team. Coach definitely had us prepared, but we didn't execute
like we should have. We're going to improve."
Sacramento's fans sold out Arco Arena for the game. Even season
ticket-holder Johnnie B. Baker Sr., the father of Cubs manager
Dusty Baker, attended the game instead of watching his son's team
in the NL championship series.
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