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Garcia's 3-pointer gives Kings first win

Nov 7, 2007 - 7:15 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- The Sacramento Kings sellout streak came to an end. So did their losing streak.

Francisco Garcia woke up from his slumber to knock down a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left to provide the Kings a 104-98 victory over the winless Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday.

Kevin Martin scored 31 points and John Salmons scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth period for Sacramento, which had its 354-game consecutive sellout streak at Arco Arena snapped.

The Kings also overcame a 20-point first-half deficit to avoid their first 0-4 start since 1997-98 and provide Reggie Theus his first win as Sacramento coach.

"It's tremendous," Theus said. "I have to admit, I kept the ball. It's important to me, it's important to us as a team. More than anything, we needed a win in the worst way."

The Kings trailed, 61-48, at the half, cut the deficit to 78-72 after three and drew even early in the fourth period before Seattle regained a six-point edge behind the sharpshooting of Wally Sczcerbiak and the play of rookie Kevin Durant.

A driving layup by Salmons - his seventh consecutive point for the Kings - cut the deficit to 98-97 with 62 seconds remaining.

Quincy Douby then made a steal for Sacramento, and Garcia missed an eight-footer, but Brad Miller corralled the offensive rebound and kicked to Garcia, who drained the shot from the arc in the left corner to provide Sacramento a 100-98 lead - its first since the first quarter.

Garcia was just 1-of-8 prior to that shot.

"It felt good when I released it," Garcia said. "I was behind (Miller) and I called for the shot. I kind of knew it was going in when I let it go."

"Definitely for the team psyche, we had to pull that out," Salmons said. "That's probably the biggest shot he's made in his life. (Garcia's) been playing a new position, point guard on an NBA team isn't easy, so I'm happy for him."

Seattle called timeout, but couldn't get into its offense, and Damien Wilkins missed a forced turnaround jumper in the lane. Miller rebounded, was fouled and knocked down two free throws with 10 seconds left to provide a four-point cushion.

"Our turnovers helped them get back in it," Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "We had wide-open shots that did not go in. Then Garcia makes a big shot."

Sczcerbiak scored half of the Sonics' 36 points in the second quarter on 7-of-8 shooting, and Seattle outscored Sacramento by 14 points in the period to take a 61-48 lead into the half.

The sharpshooter hit a pair of 3-pointers and three jumpers during the first five minutes of the period as Seattle opened a 43-32 edge.

"We were getting stops on defense, and my teammates were doing a great job in screening for me and looking for me," Sczcerbiak said of the first-half barrage. "I think they recognized I had the hot hand.

"It would have been nice to try and keep it going in the second half. Unfortunately, we couldn't and you've got to get stops, and we couldn't do that in the fourth quarter and we turned the ball over a lot."

Durant added 13 points in the period and connected on 3-of-4 from the arc as the Sonics shot 63 percent (24-of-38) in the half to help offset 14 turnovers.

Only Martin's 20 first-half points on 7-of-12 shooting kept the Kings in the game.

Led by his nine third-quarter points, Sacramento made a big push, tying the contest at 69-69 on a slicing layup by Martin with three minutes left and taking the lead on Douby's high-arching layup off the board 30 seconds later.

Seattle, however, finished the period on a 7-1 run, getting a three-point play by Sczcerbiak to start the spurt and a steal and fast-break jam by Durant with 10 ticks left for a 78-72 lead.

"That's a tough way to lose, I can't explain it," Durant said. "I made some terrible turnovers (late). I should have been stronger with the ball. But it's all a learning experience. We're getting good shots. We've got to knock them down and get stops."

Douby's 3-pointer just under two minutes into the fourth tied the game at 79-79, but Sczcerbiak answered with a straightaway shot from the arc, and he added another 3-pointer with 7 1/2 minutes left for a 90-84 lead.

"That showed what kind of team we can be," said Martin, who has led the Kings in scoring each game this season. "We stuck with it, everybody relied on each other. That's the kind of chemistry we need to have. I think we learned a lot from that."

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