Martin leads Kings past winless TimberwolvesNov 11, 2007 - 7:18 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Kevin Martin scored 29 points and Beno Udrih played well in his first game of the season as the Sacramento Kings held off the Minnesota Timberwolves, 100-93, on Saturday.
John Salmons scored 19 points and Brad Miller added 12 and 16 rebounds for the Kings, who won for the first time in three tries at home this season.
Both teams were playing the second of back-to-back nights and it showed with ragged play from the opening tip. After a first half that generated just 81 points, the teams heated up in the third period, combining for 65 points for a 73-73 tie. But in the final stanza, play reverted back to the sloppy performance and poor shooting that was prevalent in the first half.
"Both teams were tired," said Kings coach Reggie Theus. "Both teams played real hard games last night. But we have to win our home games, the games we're supposed to win. I thought this was a must win for us."
Minnesota made just one shot from the floor in the first 11 minutes of the fourth but stayed around by making 15-of-16 free throws. The Wolves actually took a 89-88 lead after two free throws by Corey Brewer with 4:13 left, but Martin followed with a jumper and two free throws to give the Kings a 92-89 lead with two minutes remaining.
Minnesota drew within 94-93 on a 3-pointer by Rashad McCants with one minute to go, but Udrih, who signed as a free agent this offseason after playing for the San Antonio Spurs, hit a jumper from the right of the free-throw line with 48 ticks left. After a defensive stop, Miller tipped in a miss by Udrih with 10 seconds left for a 98-93 edge.
"Obviously it had a lot to do with (Udrih's) penetration," Miller said of the key basket. "I set the pick, (he drew) the attention after he made the shot before. I just got a play off of it. He makes a lot of smart plays out there."
"(Sacramento) made the plays at the end that we couldn't," said Minnesota coach Randy Wittman. "The ball simply bounced their way tonight. It seems like it has happened a lot to us lately. Through all of these games, it has been about the little things that are not getting done."
Udrih, who was out with a finger injury, had nine points, five rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes.
"I just wanted to go out there and play my game," Udrih said. "I didn't think I'd play that much but at the beginning of the game I felt great. I told coach I'm ready if he needs me. He put me in the game, I didn't even look at the bench. I like tight games."
Sacramento made all 12 free throws in the fourth quarter. Martin, who missed five consecutive free throws, made his last 11.
"It was one of those nights," Martin said. "The first half was a little funk. But teammates kept confidence in me and kept giving me the ball."
"(Udrih) was big. He's a floor leader, that's what we were missing off our team. I don't know if we could have pulled that one out without him."
Al Jefferson had 17 points and 12 rebounds and McCants added 16 for Minnesota, which fell to 0-5 on the campaign and has lost 12 straight dating to last season.
"We stayed in the game. That's about the only thing we did good tonight," McCants said. "We have a problem with finishing. Competing isn't our problem."
Quincy Douby scored all eight of his first-half points in the opening minutes of the second quarter to put the Kings up 24-19.
Jefferson returned the favor, scoring eight in less than three minutes to give the T-Wolves a 35-29 advantage before Sacramento used a 13-0 run to re-take the lead. The Kings led 42-39 at the half despite shooting just 43 percent.
"We've got to rebound," said Brewer, who scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds in his best game as a pro. "We had a chance again to win and they got four straight offensive rebounds (late). After that it was like the air was let out of us."
SACRAMENTO 100 FINAL
Nov 11 12:41 AM
SACRAMENTO 73 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 10 11:59 PM
SACRAMENTO 42 HALFTIME
Nov 10 11:12 PM
SACRAMENTO 16 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 10 10:38 PM
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