Former Spur Udrih leads Kings over defending championsNov 27, 2007 - 8:36 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Beno Udrih had plenty of motivation against his old team. As a result, he delivered his finest performance since joining the Sacramento Kings.
Udrih scored a career-high 27 points to lead six players in double figures as the Kings surprised the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, 112-99, at Arco Arena on Monday night.
Brad Miller had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento, which bounced back from a 96-80 loss at San Antonio on November 2.
Kings coach Reggie Theus raved about his team's performance.
"I thought it could have been our best 48 minutes of the season so far," Theus said. "An absolute total win. We had a lot of guys do a lot of nice things. Everybody just came in and did what they're supposed to do from top to bottom."
It also was a rare win against the Spurs for the Kings, who had dropped their last five regular-season meetings with San Antonio and seven overall - including the final two games of the Western Conference first round in 2005-06 season.
Ironically, Sacramento broke through thanks to Udrih, who was a little-used reserve on two of San Antonio's championship teams in three seasons with the team. He shot 8-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-2 from the arc, on Monday.
"I don't like to talk about my game," Udrih said. "I know how I had a good game, but team effort is more important. We had (six) players score double-digits. Team basketball won that game, for sure. It was special, but I can't take it just for myself."
"Before the game I told Beno he has to let the game come to him," Theus said. "Be aggressive and just remember that it's not personal. If you let the game come to you, you'll have a good night. And he did."
First-round pick Spencer Hawes scored seven second-quarter points on 3-of-4 shooting to push the Kings in front. Francisco Garcia's 15-foot jumper gave the Kings a nine-point advantage with less than a minute remaining in the half.
But the Spurs scored the last five points as Sacramento settled for a 52-48 lead at the break.
The first half showing was a vast improvement from Sacramento's franchise-low 23-point debacle in San Antonio on November 2.
San Antonio rallied with a 13-2 burst bridging the second and third quarters to take a 56-54 lead. But Udrih answered with a 3-pointer and Kevin Martin followed with three consecutive baskets to ignite a 14-0 run by Sacramento.
The lead ballooned to 18 after Udrih nailed another shot from the arc and Martin scored on a driving layup to push the Kings ahead 82-64.
"Beno did a great job," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "He hit big shots and made good decisions. We were not ready to play today. We kind of let this game go."
Spurs reserve guard Darius Washington hit a long 3-pointer as time expired, closing the gap to 86-73 heading to the fourth.
The Spurs, playing their fifth game in seven nights, closed the deficit to eight midway through the fourth. Michael Finley hit consecutive 3-pointers to make it 97-89 with 5:42 remaining.
But Ron Artest hit a 15-foot baseline jumper as the shot clock expired to push the Kings' lead to 99-89.
"We tried to put it together, but just couldn't find the energy to get it done," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We ran out of juice and couldn't get over the hump."
"We knew they were going to try to make that one run, and they did," said Kings forward Mikki Moore, who scored 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting in his best performance since coming to Sacramento. "But Beno came out and controlled the tempo of the game, and we went right back to what was working. Coach called some good plays and the veterans on the squad knew how to step up."
Duncan had 15 points and five rebounds for San Antonio.
"They had a great team effort," Duncan said. "They moved the ball really well and played good defense. Beno did well and was the head of that effort."
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