Garcia, Kings fortunate to win third straightFeb 23, 2008 - 5:49 AM By Derek Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Francisco Garcia scored 23 points - including 6-of-8 from the arc - to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 116-115 overtime victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday.
Ron Artest added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who have won three straight since shipping point guard Mike Bibby to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
Garcia scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to provide the outside punch while Brad Miller was a force in the interior, earning his 24th double-double of the season.
Garcia is averaging 20.0 points since coming back from a three-game absence due to a back injury.
"I just wanted to bring a lot of energy and help this team," Garcia said.
The Kings scored first in overtime on Garcia's sixth 3-pointer of the game, but the Bobcats went ahead on a three-point play from Emeka Okafor to make it 114-112 with 2:43 left.
Kevin Martin tied the game at 114-114 on a layup, and Artest put the Kings ahead with a basket with 16 seconds to play in the extra period.
"We gathered ourselves down the stretch and really played good defense," Martin said. "It was a great team effort."
Raymond Felton had a chance to tie the game but missed 1-of-2 free throws with 7.4 seconds.
Felton got a second chance at redemption after a turnover over Miller near midcourt, but misfired on a potential game-winning 17-footer from the right baseline.
"Everybody was fighting tonight," Miller said. "It took us a while to get settled in tonight. Our goal is to get to 28-28 (record). Tonight was a good road win."
Charlotte rallied from a five-point deficit in the final minute to force overtime and trailed by as many as 10 in the second half.
"We have to be ready every night," Garcia said. "We played down to their level tonight and can't let that happen."
The Bobcats may have bigger worries than this loss. Charlotte got a scare when leading scorer Gerald Wallace went down in the third quarter with a Grade-3 concussion.
Wallace, who is averaging a career-best 20.9 points, scored just six before exiting the game in the third after taking an elbow to the face from Mikki Moore.
"I just turned around and began going up with the ball," Moore said. "I didn't really feel (the contact) at all. My prayers are with him."
He remained on the floor motionless for several minutes prior to getting carted away on a stretcher and taken directly to the hospital.
"I thought we did a marvelous job of staying in there and fighting through," Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said. "The guys continued to rally, fought hard, made some big plays defensively and were able to force overtime."
Jason Richardson poured in 29 points for Charlotte, which has dropped both games since the All-Star break and has lost nine of its last 10 contests.
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