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NBA Game Summary - Dallas at Sacramento

(Thursday, March 24th)

Final Score: Sacramento 109, Dallas 101

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Peja Stojakovic scored a game-high 38 points as the Sacramento Kings crowned the visiting Dallas Mavericks, 109-101, to avoid a season-series sweep and gain a significant victory in the playoff picture.

Stojakovic went 9-of-13 from the floor, including 6-of-8 from three-point distance, and hit 14-of-14 free throws to go along with nine rebounds in the win.

The victory enabled Sacramento to remain in fifth place in the Western Conference standings, three games behind fourth-place Dallas. The Kings also stayed a game in front of No. 6 Houston, which beat Cleveland Thursday.

Mike Bibby added 17 points and eight assists, Cuttino Mobley contributed 16 points and Kenny Thomas chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds in the win.

"(Stojakovic) really kept us in the game," Bibby said. "He was hitting the three. He really kept us in there."

"I just have to keep being aggressive," Stojakovic said. "Keep shooting the ball and maybe be a little more aggressive taking the ball to the hole and getting to the free throw line. We, as a team, have to play like that. Play hard all 48 minutes."

Leading Dallas, which had won four straight overall and four in a row against Sacramento, was Dirk Nowitzki with 35 points and eight boards.

"(Nowitzki) just makes shots," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "He's such a good shooter so that makes him a handful. Give our guys credit, they stayed with it and had a great second half."

Keith Van Horn and Devin Harris had 16 points apiece in the loss.

The Mavericks held a one-point edge heading into the fourth quarter and the teams traded leads throughout the first three minutes of the frame before the Kings used a 9-2 burst to grab a 90-82 advantage with seven minutes to play.

Following a pair of Bibby free throws one minute later, the Kings' lead reached double digits, 95-84.

Dallas would get as close as five points, 103-98, after a three-pointer by Harris before falling.

"This is a tough loss for us," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "I take my hat off to the Kings. They really had a terrific second half. We gave up like 58 points there in the second half, which is too much. We played a really good first half so I think it was a tale of two halves.

"I just thought our first half defense was good, but the second half it wasn't. Again, they got to the free throw line 30 times and made 28 of them."

The Mavericks led by seven points coming out of halftime, but a 10-5 run by Sacramento cut Dallas' lead to 63-61 with seven minutes to play in the frame, which ended with the Kings down one point, 76-75.

With Dallas leading 9-8 early on, Sacramento went on a 20-9 quarter-closing run, to take a 28-18 advantage after the first 12 minutes.

Dallas opened the second quarter with a 12-2 run to tie the game 30-30 en route to outscoring the Kings 40-23 in the frame, which ended with the Mavericks ahead 58-51.

Game Notes

Dallas has won seven of the last nine meetings in this series...Sacramento finished a brief three-game homestand with a 2-1 record...Thomas entered the game scoring in double-digits in eight straight games and averaged 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds over his last 10 contests...Sacramento is 3-6 in Thursday games...The Kings improved to 26-10 as the host this season...The Mavericks have won six of their last eight overall...Dallas fell to 6-3 in Thursday games this season.

03/25 01:47:56 ET

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