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Martin, shorthanded Kings stun Warriors

Mar 19, 2008 - 6:25 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- The undermanned Sacramento Kings used a huge third quarter to stun the high-octane Golden State Warriors.

Kevin Martin scored 34 points and Ron Artest added 26 as the Kings toppled the Warriors, 122-105, at Arco Arena on Tuesday.

Backup point guard Anthony Johnson, playing for the injured Beno Udrih, added 13 points and dished a Kings' season-high 13 assists.

"One of those classic cases of you always have to be ready to play when your number is called," Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said. "(Johnson) has been sitting on the sidelines several games and got his number called because of injury to Beno and came out and had just a great basketball game. A.J. gives us veteran experience out there along with defense."

Rookie center Spencer Hawes and forward Kenny Thomas also were not available due to various injuries. Hobbled guard John Salmons played just 14 minutes and scored two points.

"I haven't played well since I've been here," Johnson said after tallying his first double-double since joining the Kings as part of the trade which sent Mike Bibby to Atlanta. "When I first came, I was given the opportunity to play some minutes but, for whatever reason, I just didn't get it done.

"I wanted to set the tone for my team. Things went my way, and we got a much-needed win."

Johnson nailed a shot from the arc, then grabbed his own missed free throw and rifled a behind-the-neck pass to Brad Miller for a layup nine minutes into the third. Martin added a driving layup to finish the 16-2 run to give the Kings their largest lead at 97-74.

Sacramento outscored Golden State, 40-25, in the third, then held off the Warriors in the fourth.

"Tonight, we took a lot of pressure off each other," said Martin, who topped 30 points for the ninth time this season. "Ron was attacking, and A.J. was getting me the ball. Teammates were looking for each other and, when they do that, you better produce if you want to keep on coming back."

"I'm trying to fit in, being traded, being the new guy," Johnson said. "If you pass the ball a lot, guys will like you and welcome you."

Golden Sate, the highest-scoring team in the league, began to mount a comeback behind its bench players while the Kings went ice cold early in the final period.

Brandan Wright scored six points and former King Matt Barnes added five to key the Warriors' resurgence. Stephen Jackson's two free throws capped a 17-2 burst which closed the gap to 107-101 midway through the quarter.

But that would prove to be the last gasp for the Warriors.

Sacramento responded with a 15-0 run - finished by an emphatic dunk by Mikki Moore - to put the game away.

Baron Davis scored 24 points for the Warriors, who shot a woeful 5-of-27 from the arc and missed 14 free throws.

"It was a pretty disappointing game tonight," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "We kept getting deeper and deeper into the hole. We did not have enough guys play well tonight."

Guard Monta Ellis, who scored 22 and 34 in Warrior wins earlier this season against Sacramento, was held to 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting, while Jackson scored just nine and missed 12-of-15 shots.

"It was a letdown game," Jackson said. "It was a game we wanted and needed. We just did not come to play."

Despite the loss, the Warriors (41-26) maintain a 1 1/2-game lead on the Denver Nuggets, who fell at Detroit (40-27) on Tuesday, for the eighth and final playoff spot in the tough Western Conference.

Sacramento hit 55 percent from the floor in the first half, with Martin scoring 21 on 8-of-14 shooting, to take a 61-57 lead into the break.

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