SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Hundreds of fans waited inside Arco
Arena for Brad Miller to return to the court for his postgame radio
interview. They cheered him madly, and he acknowledged the greeting
with a single fist pump.
Sacramento's faithful don't stand for losing, and Miller played
a big part in getting the Kings back on track on their home floor.
Miller had 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in his first
game against his former team, and the Kings overcame a season-high
21 turnovers for a 91-88 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday
Peja Stojakovic had 27 points and five rebounds and Mike Bibby
added 14 points for the Kings, who led by 16 in the third quarter
of the emotional game that saw many players challenge the
"All I know is that they hate Sacramento," Kings guard Bobby
Jackson said of the referees. "That's East Coast basketball -- grab
and hold. They let the East Coast beat the West Coast up."
Indiana forward Ron Artest was ejected late in the second
quarter for arguing an offensive foul call.
Official Anthony Jordan whistled Artest for a charge 3:31 before
halftime and Artest became angry and received a technical for
questioning the foul. The Pacers called timeout before Bibby shot
the first technical shot.
During the timeout, Artest approached Jordan to give him another
earful and official Bob Delaney called the second technical that
led to Artest being tossed.
"It was clear to me that the first technical was deserved,"
Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "But the second one was
unwarranted, particularly on how well he's conducted himself this
season. I thought it was ridiculous to eject a guy who is just
wanting an explanation. Because it was a questionable call to say
the least that led to the whole situation."
Artest, the Pacers' second-leading scorer at 18.3 points per
game, had nine points, an assist and no rebounds.
"I thought you were able to talk to the refs in this league,
but obviously not," Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal said.
O'Neal had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Indiana, which
missed many key shots down the stretch and shot 39 percent. Jamison
Brewer couldn't get a desperation 3-point shot off in time to beat
the final buzzer.
Sacramento's Vlade Divac was whistled for an offensive foul with
50.2 seconds left and his finger roll in the paint went in, which
would have given the Kings a three-point lead.
O'Neal missed on the other end and the Kings got the ball back,
calling timeout with 17.8 seconds left. Stojakovic hit two free
throws with 12.4 on the clock.
Miller, a 7-foot All-Star center, had his second career
triple-double, both this season. He was acquired from the Pacers in
a three-team trade in July. He is fitting in well in Sacramento and
scored a career-high 35 points Friday night in a 112-109 overtime
loss to Minnesota that snapped Sacramento's 17-game home winning
streak. The Kings had been 10-0 at Arco this season before the
In the first half Sunday, Miller took three charges and hit the
floor six times. He is averaging 25.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.8
assists over the last four games.
After O'Neal blocked a shot by Jackson, Brewer dunked in
transition on the other end to give the Pacers an 81-77 lead with
8:51 left in the game.
Stojakovic kept the Kings in it, scoring 11 of his points in the
"Down the stretch, we played better defense," Divac said. "We
cannot afford to look careless in the fourth."
The Pacers, who shot 39 percent, made a late run in the third
quarter to pull within 74-73 going into the fourth.
Sacramento shot 53.2 percent in the first half for a 57-46
The Kings have won 37 of their last 38 games against the
Eastern Conference, including 25 straight. The Pacers were the last
team from the East to beat the Kings here, 97-86 on March 3, 2002.
... Carlisle is pleased with how the Pacers are adjusting to all
the offseason changes -- a new coaching staff, a new style, and the
loss of Brad Miller. "There's also been a significant adjustment
to the style of play that we have," Carlisle said. "But we've
come together nicely so far." ... Artest, who had 12
behavior-related suspensions last season, has been saying he's
matured and is determined to play smart this season. It was his
first technical and first ejection of the year. He also hasn't been
called for a flagrant foul. ... Former Kings C Scot Pollard made
his third start of the season in his return to Arco Arena. ...
O'Neal had his 11th double-double of the season.
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