Heat 109 - 120 Kings
  for this game

Artest, Kings complete huge comeback vs. Heat

Mar 3, 2008 - 6:04 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Just when things were looking up for the Miami Heat, they melted down again.

Ron Artest scored 32 points and Kevin Martin added 29 to key a dramatic second-half rally as the Sacramento Kings stunned the Heat, 120-109, at Arco Arena on Sunday night.

Miami was looking to sweep the season series against Sacramento and win back-to-back games for just the second time all season. But it was not to be.

"It's a great win for us," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "I thought that defensively, in the second half, we held them to 40 points, and we only (allowed) three uncontested shots in the whole half. That's how you come back."

Sacramento completed a 35-point turnaround in the second half, forging to a 12-point lead at one point in the fourth quarter.

"That was a tough one," Artest said. "I'm glad coach didn't give up like he did in Miami. We were down 14 and he pulled me out. (We) got down 26 and he put me back in the game. Today, we were down 20 and he let us play. He told us we only had five minutes to get it right or he was going to put the young guys in."

The Heat ended an 11-game losing streak with a resounding 107-86 win over Sacramento just six days earlier in Miami and appeared to be on their way to another easy win.

After Heat guard Jason Williams converted a pair of free throws to put the Heat up 75-52 in the third, the Kings started to chip away at the lead.

Martin keyed an initial 12-2 run with nine points to cut the deficit to single digits at 83-75 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the third.

"I wasn't aggressive in the first half," said Martin, who scored 22 of his 29 after intermission. "I don't think anyone was. We needed something to get us going in the second half. Everybody played great as a team."

Beno Udrih then completed an 8-0 stretch with a 3-pointer which gave the Kings the lead for the first time since the first quarter, 90-87, with 40 seconds left in the quarter.

"We just had to come out aggressive (in the third)," said Udrih, who finished with 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go with nine assists. "We did, and I had to pick up. I picked up full court, got the energy going, and that helped us. Then (Artest) picked up on (Dwyane) Wade, so everything was going right for us in the second half. We need to play that kind of basketball every day."

"Beno was big," Artest added. "He's been showing up for the whole season. He's way more comfortable now."

The Kings continued to pour it on in the fourth.

Brad Miller drove for a baseline dunk and Udrih then got a fortuitous bounce on a 20-foot jumper to give the Kings a 105-93 lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in the game.

Martin sealed things with a dunk after a Miami turnover, which made it 115-104 with 1:55 remaining.

"That's the tale of two halves, I'll tell you that," Wade said. "One half we're playing excellent ball and the next half we're playing terrible ball. They say good teams find a way to win and bad teams find a way to lose. That's kind of what happened."

Wade collected 26 points and seven assists for the Heat, who had seized control with a 13-0 run bridging the first and second quarters to grab a 41-27 advantage.

The lead was extended to 23 points after Ricky Davis hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 3 1/2 minutes left in the second. After a brief Sacramento rally closed the gap to 18, Miami regained momentum for a 69-49 lead at the break.

The loss dropped Miami to 11-46 for the season.

"It's about habits," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "Not playing well on a regular (basis), not playing hard, and losing becomes a habit. After a while, it gets into your seasonal DNA."

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