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Miller, Martin carry Kings past Bobcats

Jan 31, 2008 - 7:09 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- The Sacramento Kings' offense is starting to click.

Brad Miller had 22 points and 21 rebounds and Kevin Martin also scored 22 as the Kings posted a 105-91 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats in the opener of a five-game homestand on Wednesday.

Ron Artest poured in 10 of his 21 points in the third quarter in helping Sacramento eclipse the century mark for the sixth time in seven games.

"(Brad) really worked hard this summer so he's just reaping the benefits of that hard work," Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said. "(He's) really staying focused on what he has to do as a player and a leader on the team."

Miller connected on 8-of-12 shots and added three blocks to go with a career-high rebound total and his first 20-point, 20 rebound performance.

"You never know getting into January how your body feels," said Miller, who lost 25 pounds through an intense offseason workout and diet regimen. "I've been sticking with the same routine I started this summer and obviously it's paying off.

"20 rebounds was a goal I always wanted to get. I felt like I'd been stuck on 19 for about five years. I'm glad to get it in a win, that's for sure."

After shooting 58 percent in the opening half, the Bobcats were held to just five field goals in the third, and the Kings took full advantage.

Sacramento closed out the period on a 9-2 burst to create an 84-68 cushion heading into the decisive quarter. Charlotte was outscored, 29-16, in the period.

"We got away from what we wanted to do," former King Gerald Wallace said. "We let them get out and run, push the ball, and just do whatever they wanted to do in the third quarter. We started off 1-for-10 (in the third). You can't do that on the road."

The Bobcats rallied midway through the fourth to cut their deficit to 89-83 with an 11-2 stretch with 6 1/2 minutes to go.

But the Kings were able to regain control as Artest fed Mikki Moore for a one-handed dunk with 4:27 remaining that extended the lead to 96-85 for a little breathing room.

"I fed off Brad," said Moore, who had 11 points and blocked four shots. "Brad has been playing like an All-Star this whole season. Everyone is playing together and playing team ball on both ends of the court."

Martin followed moments later with a dunk off a perfect baseline feed from Miller and the Kings were not challenged the rest of the way.

Wallace netted 25 points and Emeka Okafor added 13 and 15 boards for Charlotte, which dropped to 4-14 on the road this season after managing just 39 points in the second half.

The first half featured five ties and 14 lead changes as both teams shot over 50 percent from the floor. Sacramento appeared to be getting control after spurting to a 40-33 lead early in the second.

However, Charlotte answered with a 10-2 run of its own to grab a brief lead before Sacramento settled down to take a 55-52 lead at intermission.

Behind Miller, Sacramento had a rare dominating performance on the boards, outrebounding Charlotte by a 55-39 margin.

"The rebounding is one of the areas we want to get better (at)," Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said. "We did not box out well enough and secure position. That gave them second-chance opportunities."

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