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 Kings beat Mavericks for first win of 2009

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PostSubject: Kings beat Mavericks for first win of 2009   Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:55 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif.(AP) The Sacramento Kings
will take whatever bright spots they can find. Beating a short-handed
Dallas team counts as one.Kevin Martin scored 21 points,
Francisco Garcia had seven during a key fourth-quarter stretch, and the
Kings ended their five-game losing streak with a 102-95 victory over
the Mavericks on Sunday night."We know the state of this team
right now and we realize we went through some injuries this year,''
Martin said. "Right now we're getting everybody together and hopefully
we'll continue to play team ball and nights like this will keep on
happening.''Beno Udrih had 16 points, five rebounds and six
assists for Sacramento, which hadn't won since beating the Los Angeles
Clippers 92-90 on Dec. 30. John Salmons and Brad Miller added 13 points
apiece for the Kings in only their second win in the last 10 games
against the Mavericks.Sacramento hasn't had many nights worth
remembering at all this season. After opening the year 4-5, the Kings
dropped 13 of their next 15 which led to the firing of coach Reggie
Theus in mid-December.They hadn't fared much better under
interim coach Kenny Natt, either, and went into Sunday having lost 11
of 12 overall including a 119-115 overtime loss to Miami on Friday when
Sacramento blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead."Obviously this
was a better night for me and the team,'' said Natt, who is 3-11 since
replacing Theus. "We've been working hard and coming close for quite a
while now. Fortunately enough tonight we were able to sustain it and
hang in there.''Jason Terry scored a season-high 33 points for
Dallas, including 15 in the third quarter. Dirk Nowitzki added 15
points and eight rebounds for the Mavericks, who were coming off their
most lopsided defeat of the season, a 128-100 loss to Phoenix on Friday.Sacramento trailed 78-77 heading into the fourth quarter but opened the final period with a 17-4 run to take control for good.The two-game slide was the first time Dallas has lost consecutive games since dropping five straight in early November."We
had a meltdown on all fronts in Phoenix but tonight was an all-out
effort,'' Terry said. "We put ourselves in position to win but they
wanted it more than us. When you are not making shots and getting
stops, you are going to lose the game.''The Mavericks were
without third-leading scorer Josh Howard, who sprained his left wrist
during Friday's loss. Howard was injured after crashing to the floor
while going for a rebound. X-rays were negative and he is listed as
day-to-day but scheduled to visit a doctor on Monday.Martin went
into the game averaging 29.7 points in his previous six games. He had
missed the first meeting with Dallas earlier this season with an ankle
injury.He had 12 points during the third quarter to offset
Terry, who was starting in place of Howard. Martin added four points in
the fourth quarter, including a free throw with 29 seconds left that
put the Kings ahead 101-95.Dallas had three shots in the closing seconds but couldn't convert and lost to Sacramento for the first time since last Jan. 14."It
was a good team win,'' Martin said. "But we need to get to two instead
of worrying about one. We need to get to two and then hopefully that
translates into three, four and five.''Without Howard, the
Mavericks were hoping to get more production out of Nowitzki and Terry,
both of whom have struggled in recent games.Terry broke out of
his slump but Nowitzki's problems continued. He missed seven of his
first 10 shots in the first half, including numerous open looks, and
finished 6-of-18. In his last three games, the Mavericks' leading
scorer is averaging 14.6 points while shooting only 32.5 percent.Terry
had just eight points in the first half but went 7-of-9 from the floor
in the third quarter, when he scored 15 of the Mavericks' first 19
points.Martin kept the Kings close with 12 of his points,
including a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left, to give Sacramento a 77-76
lead before Jose Barea's driving layup regained the lead for Dallas
heading onto the fourth quarter.Dallas went just 3-of-20 from 3-point range compared to 8-of-16 for Sacramento."Our
undoing was the 3-point line,'' Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "It's
just disappointing. We played well to get a lead and just couldn't hold
it.''Notes: Jason Kidd fell hard on his right elbow in the
fourth quarter and was in noticeable pain late in the game but said it
is nothing serious. ... Sacramento hasn't won consecutive games since
winning three straight from Nov. 5-9. ... The Mavericks tied a
season-high with 10 blocks. The Kings had just one. ... Seattle
Seahawks quarterback Seneca Wallace, a native of Sacramento, attended
the game and sat courtside.

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