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Kings use 3-point brigade to beat Mavs
Updated: 2004-04-19 09:20

After finishing the regular season with an ugly collapse, the Sacramento Kings got back to what they do best - scoring. Peja Stojakovic scored 28 points and Chris Webber added 26 points and 12 rebounds, propelling the Kings to a 116-105 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the best-of-seven playoff series Sunday.

Sacramento Kings' Doug Christie drives past Dallas Mavericks' Marquis Daniels in the second half Sunday, April 18, 2004, in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings won the game, 116-105.[AP]
The Kings made a franchise-record 11 of their 21 3-pointers, including five by Stojakovic to tie Sacramento's individual playoff best. The Kings were energized from the opening tip, and not even Dirk Nowitzki could keep Dallas close in the fourth quarter of a fitting opener for the NBA's two highest-scoring teams.

Nowitzki had 32 points and 13 rebounds but battled foul trouble for the Mavericks, who have never won a playoff series opener on the road. These Mavs struggled away from Dallas all season, going 16-25, and the Kings were just as inhospitable as their cowbell-ringing fans.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Sacramento, with Game 3 on Saturday in Dallas.

Sacramento opened the fourth quarter with a 19-7 run keyed by the defense of Doug Christie and Webber, who endangered his gimpy knees and ankles by diving on the floor to retrieve a loose ball. Stojakovic and Anthony Peeler hit 3-pointers, and the Kings scored 11 points off four consecutive Dallas turnovers.

Christie had 21 points, eight rebounds and a playoff career-best 11 assists, while Mike Bibby scored 13 of his 14 points in the second half.

Antawn Jamison scored 18 points in his first career playoff game, while starting Dallas guards Marquis Daniels and Steve Nash managed just 13 points apiece on 11-for-29 shooting. Michael Finley and Antoine Walker also struggled, shooting 7-for-24.

The Kings have only themselves to blame for what seems to be the NBA's toughest first-round matchup. They lost eight of their final 12 games in the regular season, blowing the Pacific Division title and dropping into the conference's fourth seed with a loss to Golden State in the season finale.

The Mavericks entered their third straight playoff meeting with the Kings on a roll, winning eight of 10 with a small-ball lineup featuring the 6-foot-9 Walker at center. They used the same lineup in their playoff opener, producing tremendous matchup problems for the more traditional Kings until the fourth.

Dallas missed its first eight shots but quickly got into gear, taking its first lead early in the second quarter while making 17 of 24 shots at one point. The Kings started fast but cooled, going to halftime down 65-63 after a last-second turnover and Josh Howard's dunk.

Neither team led by more than seven points in the first three quarters, but both played frenetic offensive basketball. Bibby and All-Star Brad Miller both couldn't get a field goal until the third quarter, while Finley and Walker were misfiring for Dallas ?a and yet the teams combined for 171 points entering the fourth.

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