for this game

Martin returns to help Kings snap skid

Dec 31, 2008 - 6:49 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Kevin Martin came off the bench to score 20 points in his return to action, helping the Sacramento Kings snap a six-game losing streak with a 92-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday at Arco Arena.

Martin had missed the last 10 games and 22 of 31 this season with a severely sprained left ankle but showed no signs of rust from the start. He shot 5-of-14 from the floor and made all eight of his free throws in 30 minutes.

"It's great having Kevin back," Kings interim coach Kenny Natt said. "I'm excited for Kevin and for the team. He's been our leader all year. Having him not out there on the floor has been a big drain on us."

Brad Miller's two free throws with 46 seconds left proved to be the final points as both teams failed to convert a field goal over the final 4:28.

Paul Davis missed on an 18-footer from the top of the key on the Clippers' final possession to send the Kings to the locker room with a much-needed win.

"We were the ones that kind of gave it away," said Davis, who notched a career-high 18 points and converted all 10 of his free throws. "We could have taken better shots when we had the chance. But we just have to move on."

Martin scored seven points in his first five minutes as Sacramento opened up a 17-point first-quarter lead that put the injury-depleted Clippers in a sizable hole. Los Angeles was again without its top big men as Zach Randolph (knee) and Chris Kaman (foot) both sat out with injuries.

"It felt good to be back out there with the guys," Martin said. "Everybody knows we just needed a win, any way we can get it. I think the most impressive thing was we shot 16 percent in the fourth quarter and were down by one going into the fourth, and we found a way to pull out a win."

Baron Davis, Al Thornton, and Marcus Camby were shut out until Davis scored the final seven points of the first half, cutting the Clippers' deficit to 49-41 at the break.

That apparently provided some incentive for his teammates.

Thornton and Camby chipped in with baskets to start off the third as the Clippers went on an extended run, eventually forging ahead by eight after Thornton threw down a dunk to make it 73-65 with 1:13 left in the quarter.

But Sacramento went on a 16-2 burst to regain the lead before the game settled into being a see-saw battle over the final nine minutes.

Rookie Eric Gordon scored 24 points and Camby finished with 15 and 24 rebounds to pace the Clippers.

Camby scored all 15 of his points and collected 18 boards in the second half to key the Clippers' comeback. But Baron Davis struggled all night, making just 3-of-17 shots, as a sore back limited his mobility.

"I'm not a big stat guy," Camby said. "The only stat that count are wins and losses, and right now we have way too many losses."