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Martin, Bibby lead Kings past cold-shooting Pistons

Nov 9, 2006 - 6:44 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Kevin Martin is making NBA general managers look smart.

Martin tied a career high with 30 points and Mike Bibby added 23 as the Sacramento Kings posted a 99-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Corliss Williamson added 15 points - 11 more than he had scored in the first four games combined - and Ron Artest tallied 10 with nine rebounds for the Kings, who snapped a three-game losing streak to the Pistons.

"It felt great to be back out there on the court," Williamson said. "I'm happy I was able to help this team get to a victory tonight. I just felt great once I got out there. I got a shot to fall and after that just kept rolling."

Martin, who was selected by the Kings 26th overall in the 2004 draft, shot 10-of-16 from the field and grabbed six rebounds. In a preseason poll among NBA general managers, Martin was picked as the second most likely player to have a breakout season.

The 6-7, 185-pound guard increased his scoring average from 2.9 points in his first year to 10.8 last season. He came into this contest averaging a team-leading 21.8 through four games, ranking in the top 20.

The 23-year-old scored in 23 of his points in the second half and made a pair of 3-pointers in the contest.

"I started off kind of sluggish," Martin said. "It felt like I was playing in my first year in the league. I just had to turn it around. Coach put a little fire under my belt a little bit. I was just trying to help my team in the second half, instead of (hurting) them like I did in the first."

"He's playing good," Bibby said. "I told him to be aggressive and don't be passive, be aggressive. You could see him feeling it."

Bibby was 6-of-13 from the floor, had seven rebounds and three assists for Sacramento, which shot 43 percent (34-of-79) from the field.

The nine-year veteran scored his 10,000th career point on a layup with 6:03 left in the second quarter, giving the Kings a 29-23 lead. He continues to play despite a painful thumb injury on his shooting hand.

"It's tough," Bibby said. "If it would have been my other hand, it would be a lot easier. It's on my shooting hand and the only way it bothers me is when I shoot the ball. I still shoot the ball."

This was the first time Artest had faced the Pistons since being involved in an infamous brawl in Detroit on November 19, 2004. That night, Artest and several of his Indiana Pacers teammates entered the stands while also clashing with Pistons and fans on the court.

The incident resulted in nine players from both teams being suspended, including Artest, who was forced to sit out the remainder of the season.

Chauncey Billups scored 25 points and Richard Hamilton added 20 for Detroit, which shot a sub-par 39 percent (28-of-71).

"Right now, we're just not a very good basketball team," Billups said. "There's too many breakdowns. Teams are just having it way too easy (against us) right now. Good thing about it is it's a long season, but we've got a lot of things to work on."

Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, and Nazr Mohammed - the Pistons starting frontcourt - combined to score just eight points on 4-of-23 shooting. The trio did not score in the first half. Wallace was 0-of-9 from field.

"It just wasn't falling. I missed layups, threes, 15-footers, 12-footers," Wallace said. "It's just one of those things. I can't get too down on myself for missing shots. I still have to play on the other end of the court. I'll just have to go back to the drawing board in practice tomorrow, that's all."

"I think right now we have guys that are so single-minded about every defensive stop," Kings coach Eric Musselman said. "Ron Artest did a phenomenal job on Prince, holding him to 3-of-13 from the floor."

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