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NBA Game Summary - LA Clippers at Sacramento

(Sunday, April 2nd)

Final Score: Sacramento 106, LA Clippers 96

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Ron Artest totaled 26 points and Brad Miller compiled 25 points and nine rebounds, as Sacramento defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, 106-96, at ARCO Arena.

Mike Bibby donated 22 points and Shareef Abdur-Rahim sprang for 18 points for the Kings, who won their third straight game and remained two games in front of New Orleans/Oklahoma City for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Hornets defeated Toronto, 120-113, in double-overtime on Sunday.

"We're a group that hasn't been together that long," said Sacramento head coach Rick Adelman. "I think if we move the ball and trust each other, we're going to be okay."

Chris Kaman scored 20 points and pulled down 10 boards while Sam Cassell also poured in 20 points for the Clippers, who have lost two of their last three contests and saw their lead for the fifth spot in the Western Conference dwindle to one game over Memphis. The Grizzlies beat Atlanta, 98-87, on Sunday.

Elton Brand contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds while Vladimir Radmanovic tallied the team's third double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Clippers shot only 42.4 percent, but stayed within striking distance thanks to an overwhelming 54-31 edge on the glass.

The Kings used a tenacious defensive effort to hold a 30-18 lead after the first stanza. Sacramento went on a 10-2 burst midway through the quarter to take a 23-10 lead. Miller scored six of the Kings' final eight points and his slam opened the 13-point edge with 3:46 remaining.

LA managed only four field goals in the final seven minutes and trailed by a dozen after one period.

The Clippers cut the deficit to 45-41 behind an 11-3 stretch in the second quarter. Radmanovic scored two straight baskets in the paint then after Bonzi Wells made 1-of-2 free throws, Cassell converted a finger roll and Brand capped the stretch with an emphatic slam.

Miller made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe with nine ticks left to push the lead out to 52-43 at the half.

Los Angeles opened the third period on a 16-6 run to seize a 59-58 edge. A jumper by Brand and Cuttino Mobley's trey ended the spurt with 7:55 left.

Sacramento slowly built back up its lead, and Abdur-Rahim's driving slam pushed the advantage to 83-78 at the end of the third period.

The lead quickly grew to nine, 87-78, on jumpers by Kevin Martin and Abdur- Rahim before Zeljko Rebraca and Cassell answered with consecutive baskets to again trim the deficit to five.

Again, the Kings slowly enlarged the lead behind solid shooting. Artest drained a jumper with six minutes left to make the score 97-87 and moments later, the volatile forward missed a jumper but Miller tipped the rebound back to Bibby, who buried a three to give the Kings a 100-89 lead.

Sacramento held on for the victory from there.

"We just didn't come out with the energy that we were supposed to," said Corey Maggette. "They jumped all over us and were very aggressive and attacked us."

Game Notes

The Kings improved to 15-2 in their last 17 home games and 24-13 at ARCO Arena on the season...The Clippers fell to 17-19 on the road...Sacramento holds a 3-0 edge in the season series with the final meeting set for April 7...Maggette scored 16 points in the loss...Sacramento made 48.8 percent of its shots.

04/03 00:20:16 ET

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