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Martin sparks Kings past Raptors

Nov 13, 2006 - 4:48 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Kevin Martin continues to sizzle for the Sacramento Kings.

Martin scored 26 points to lead the Kings to a 107-92 romp over the Toronto Raptors.

A third-year guard out of Western Carolina, Martin entered averaging 23.4 points and was coming off a 30-point performance in Wednesday's win over the Detroit Pistons.

Martin, who averaged 10.8 points last season and 2.9 as a rookie, made 8-of-14 shots from the floor and all eight foul shots.

"I always felt like I could play," Martin said. "It was just learning how the NBA game is played and just working hard and staying at it."

Ron Artest also had a big game for the Kings with 23 points, and he was instrumental in a game-breaking run spanning the first and second quarters.

With Sacramento leading, 24-20, Artest scored seven points to help extend the advantage to 36-25 after one period.

"We understand that they are an up-tempo team but we felt as long as we had very good shot selection and drove the ball to the rim, that would be to our benefit, to try to score after makes or misses," Kings coach Bill Musselman. "I thought all of our starters in that first quarter did a phenomenal job. To score 36 out of the gates was crucial to the outcome of the game."

Artest and Francisco Garcia each had seven points in an 11-3 run to open the second quarter, pushing the lead to 47-28 with 9:25 left in the half. The closest the Pacers got thereafter was 93-82 with 5:58 to play, but the Kings answered with a 10-0 run to pull away.

The Kings entered with a league-leading 11 steals per game and had 12 against the Raptors, including nine in the first half.

"We've got to get easy points," Kings point guard Mike Bibby said. "We don't want to grind it out every night or grind out every play. Just trying to push it a little and get easy baskets." Bibby scored 21 points for Sacramento, which shot 49 percent (37-of-76) in beating Toronto for the ninth straight time at Arco Arena.

Chris Bosh scored 19 to lead the Raptors, who shot 42 percent (35-of-84).

"They jumped on us early," Bosh said. "We didn't play very good defense for pretty much the whole game. We let them spot up and shoot the ball. They've got guys who can really score on their team. We just had to come out a little more aggressive and finish the first quarter."

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