SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Peja Stojakovic had 25 points and
seven rebounds for the Kings, and Antoine Walker had 13 points and
seven assists in his Dallas debut Wednesday night as Sacramento
beat the Mavericks 121-99 in an exhibition game.
Wearing his familiar No. 8, Walker started for the Mavericks
just two days after arriving from Boston in a five-player trade.
Walker waited just 25 seconds to get his first basket, making a
layup on a pass from Dirk Nowitzki. Walker hit his first 3-pointer
less than two minutes later. The three-time All-Star forward
finished the first quarter with 10 of the Mavericks' 28 points.
"With the quality of guys we have, it's not going to take long
until we put it all together," Walker said. "But it's going to
take some games. We have to have a little patience, but I think
we'll get it together before very long."
He hasn't practiced with the Mavs yet, but Walker played 25
minutes -- and though he was suitably winded afterward, his
offseason conditioning program helped to prepare him for the
Mavericks' run-and-gun style.
"This is different. This is a lot of running," he said. "It
feels great to get out here and get into the system. We've got a
lot of talented guys, and I feel like I can really fit in here."
Dallas hopes Walker will be a point forward, creating shots for
his teammates while still being unafraid to get his own points.
Walker, who led the Celtics in assists in each of the past three
seasons, set up his teammates for several baskets in the first
"He's a fabulous basketball player," Mavs coach Don Nelson
said. "We're excited to have him. We need him, and he's going to
fit in very nicely. We felt more comfortable with him (out there)
than I thought. I used him every way I wanted to."
Tony Delk, also acquired from Boston, didn't dress with a
strained right calf.
Mike Bibby had 15 points and seven assists for the Kings, who
took a 16-point lead in the first quarter and never trailed.
"We had a great game tonight, top to bottom," said Gerald
Wallace, who had 12 points and five rebounds. "We're starting to
come together, even though (Chris Webber) is out and we've had some
injuries. We've got a lot of talent, and it's coming through."
Sacramento finishes its exhibition schedule Friday night in Las
Vegas against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nowitzki had 16 points and seven rebounds. Eduardo Najera added
10 points and eight rebounds in the final exhibition game for the
Seven players scored in double figures for Dallas -- and eight
players had at least eight points for Sacramento.
Led by Stojakovic, Bibby and Doug Christie, who also scored 15
points, the Kings were sharp without center Vlade Divac, who hopes
to recover from his sprained ankle before next Wednesday's opener
against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"Tonight we weren't as careless as we had been in the last
couple of games," Stojakovic said. "We are getting into the flow,
starting to understand the new guys better, and they are starting
to understand us better."
Rookie Darius Songaila started at forward, and Brad Miller moved
back to center after playing power forward for parts of the
Nelson and assistant Del Harris both got technical fouls after
leaping onto the court to demand a foul when Nowitzki collided with
Miller in the final second of the first quarter.
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