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News » KINGS 135, WARRIORS 133 (3 OT)

KINGS 135, WARRIORS 133 (3 OT)

KINGS 135, WARRIORS 133 (3 OT)
John Salmons had played for 57 minutes at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night, an astonishing feat on its own and even more so because he wasn't alone.

He was one of four Kings to reach the 50-minute mark, with Kings coach Kenny Natt sticking to an amazingly tight rotation during a memorable night between Northern California foes.

But the Kings outlasted Golden State 135-133 in triple overtime because Salmons still had something left at the end. He chased down a Kevin Martin miss on the right baseline. After wrestling the ball from Kelenna Azubuike and Anthony Randolph, he rose for a 20-footer that gave the Warriors just 1.6 seconds to avoid disappointing the announced 19,122 in attendance who mostly remained.

But Azubuike's three from the top of the arc rimmed out, with the Kings dancing on the Warriors' floor after winning for the second time in Sacramento's last three games and breaking a 12-game road losing streak.

Center Brad Miller had 30 points and 22 rebounds, but Martin forced all three overtimes with a clutch performance the likes of which he has never had.

Martin, who had just 12 of his 23 points at the end of regulation, hit just 6 of 21 shots from the field while Salmons had 25 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists.

"It was a battle out there," said Miller, who played 51 minutes. "Regulation, overtime, double overtime, triple overtime, just some unbelievable shots that went in on both ends ... . That is just one of those games you look back and say, 'Wow, it was a heck of a game.' "

One night after watching helplessly as Orlando set an NBA record for three-pointers (23) and downed the Kings by 32 points, they sought redemption against a Warriors team that hardly qualified as formidable.

The Warriors, who were already without four players (including Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis), had been bad enough this season that this qualified as a Toilet Bowl. And in the end, it would require three flushes.

The Kings trailed 103-99 with 2:02 left in regulation before their comeback extended the night. After two Azubuike free throws put the Warriors up two with 31 seconds remaining, Martin drove left past Ronny Turiaf for a dunk that tied the score. Miller defended a 20-footer from Jamal Crawford with two seconds left on the other end to force the first extra period.

Martin did it again in overtime, but this time with the help of Francisco Garcia (19 points). The Kings swingman hit a three from the right corner with 1:54 left in overtime that put the Kings up 113-112 and infuriated Warriors coach Don Nelson when Garcia danced his way to the other end of the floor.

Then with 14 seconds left, Martin -- once again working the Warriors' pick-and-roll defense to put the slower Turiaf in front of him -- drove to the right and drew the foul. His two free throws put the Kings up 115-112. Azubuike countered once again, burying a three from the top with nine seconds left to force the second overtime.

In the second overtime, the Kings trailed 127-22 with a minute left. But Martin scored the final five points, hitting two free throws with 34 seconds left before his three-pointer with 5.7 seconds left quieted a raucous crowd and sent it to triple-overtime.

Natt said after the Kings' loss to the Heat on Friday he hoped Martin could learn to elevate his game like some of the game's best. The message, Martin said, was reiterated at halftime as the Kings led 57-48.

"I just had to show some growth down the stretch," Martin said. "It was just a great all-out effort at the end."


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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 17, 2009


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