Kings hang on to beat Warriors, climb above .500

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Brad Miller thought it sounded like one

of his truck's speakers was broken. When he stood at the free-throw

line with the game in his hands, half the crowd booed him madly,

and the other half was nervously silent.

There was only one way to fix this stereo: The Sacramento center

ignored both halves of the bipartisan Northern California crowd and

sank the shots that sent the Kings to a much-needed win.

Miller made four free throws in the final 9.9 seconds and the

Kings won three straight road games for the first time this season,

beating the Golden State Warriors 96-93 on Friday night.

Bonzi Wells scored 22 points, Mike Bibby added 21 and Ron Artest

had 17 despite taking a hard shot in the mouth. The tired Kings

blew all but one point of a late lead, but still hung on to win

their fifth game in seven nights.

With the usual throngs of Sacramento fans making the trip to

Oakland, the Kings got back above .500 and solidified their No. 8

spot in the Western Conference standings -- but the back-and-forth

fourth quarter might have turned the other way without Miller's

cool hand.

"It's always fun with the half-and-half crowd here," said

Miller, who finished with 17 points. "I don't mind having the ball

at the end. If you're a competitive person, you like those

situations. We just knew this meant a whole lot to us."

The Kings' nine-point lead with 2 minutes left shrank to 92-91

on Mickael Pietrus' rebound putback with 14.7 seconds left while

Sacramento failed to score on four straight possessions.

But Miller calmly made his free throws, including a pair with

4.5 seconds left, and Jason Richardson wildly missed a 3-pointer

before the buzzer when Bibby jostled the ball from his hands.

"I think the difference was that we had to have this game,"

Wells said. "They came in our house last week and stole a win, so

we wanted to get it back. We just hit our free throws, and we kept

them from making a 3-pointer."

Sacramento avenged a home loss to its nearest rivals on Sunday

with just its third win over the Warriors in the last nine

meetings. While the Kings got a boost of confidence, the Warriors

got just another dull blow to their disappointing season.

"Maybe we're giving up too easy. I don't know what it is,"

said Richardson, who scored 17 points. "I'm mentally worn down,

(and) I'm playing on one knee. I just can't move, but I'm still on

the court. I had a horrible game. I haven't showed up the last four


Mike Dunleavy scored 15 of his 24 points in the first quarter

for the Warriors, who lost their third home game in five days to

end any remaining rational thoughts of ending their 11-season

playoff drought.

Golden State failed in a last-shot situation for the second

straight game after blowing three late chances to beat New Orleans

on Wednesday night.

"We had an issue with not moving the ball and not making cuts

and moving around," Dunleavy said. "I think we get stagnant, and

it makes us easier to guard."

Derek Fisher had 13 points and 10 assists for Golden State,

including a layup with 4.9 seconds left.

The Kings (37-36) are two games ahead of ninth-place New Orleans

(34-37), which has two games in hand and an upcoming trip to Arco


After a 32-point first quarter and a 12-point second quarter,

the inconsistent Warriors eventually erased Sacramento's 13-point

lead on Richardson's layup with 9:34 to play, tying it at 73.

Sacramento responded with a 15-5 run led by Wells and Artest.Game notes
The Warriors set another franchise season attendance record

with their 12th sellout of the year. Golden State has drawn 675,194

fans to its first 37 home games in the basketball-crazy Bay Area

despite the near-certainty the Warriors will miss the playoffs for

the 12th straight postseason. ... Actor-rapper Ice Cube tossed up

the ceremonial jump ball and watched the game from center court.

Actors Frankie Muniz, Matthew Lillard, Morris Chestnut and Dean

Cain and boxer Sugar Shane Mosley were among the other

quasi-celebrities who played in an NBA Entertainment League charity

exhibition after the game. ... Golden State rookie Monta Ellis had

another strong game off the bench, with eight points and a

career-high four assists. He's averaging 9.8 points over his last

six games as his role increases. ... Wells led the Kings in scoring

for the seventh time, also grabbing nine rebounds.