Bibby Torches Kings In Return To Sacramento

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - On a day when two Kings departed in a
trade, Mike Bibby returned to Sacramento and beat his former team
with his trademark jump shot.

Bibby wished departed King Brad Miller farewell before the game, then scored 29 points to help the Atlanta Hawks beat the short-handed Kings 105-100 on Wednesday night.

Earlier in the day, the Kings acquired four players in a deal that sent starters Miller and John Salmons to Chicago. The Kings received Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Cedric Simmons and Michael Ruffin from Chicago. The Kings then sent Ruffin to Portland for Ike Diogu and cash.

To make room for the incoming players, the Kings waived Quincy
Douby and Sam Cassell, the veteran guard acquired from Boston on
Tuesday.

"It was strange playing out there without Brad and John," said Bibby, who said he was having dinner with Miller after the game. "It's going to be funny seeing Brad in a Chicago Bulls uniform."

Despite Kevin Martin's 32 points and 11 rebounds, what wasn't
funny was another loss for the Kings, who have the NBA's worst
record at 11-44.

The Kings were in a subdued afterward, the corner side-by-side
lockers of Miller and Salmons noticeably empty. It was another empty night for the Kings as well because the team suffered its sixth straight loss and 14th in 15 games."

"It's tough, this has been happening all year to us," Bobby Jackson said. "With all the things that happened today, with John and Brad being traded, we still came out ready to play."

Jackson made two free throws to tie it at 100 with 57 seconds left. But the Hawks grabbed the lead right back on Joe Johnson's short bank shot. The Hawks added three free throws in the final 41 seconds to snap an eight-game losing streak in Sacramento dating to Feb. 23, 2000.

Johnson scored 20 points and had six assists for the Hawks. Al Horford had 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Josh Smith added 12
points.

"The trade might have affected some of the younger guys, but the older guys, we're used to it," Martin said. "Bibby was Bibby tonight. It was good to see him. He came out and played great, I'm happy for him."

Beno Udrih scored 18 points for the Kings, who are a miserable 8-18 this year at home. Francisco Garcia had 15, and Spencer Hawes fouled out in the fourth quarter with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Bibby felt right at home playing at Arco Arena for the second time with the Hawks. His trademark jumper was working from the start, evidenced by his 12 first-quarter points. Bibby added 10 more in the third quarter when Atlanta overcame a four-point halftime deficit to lead 83-77 heading into the fourth.

Bibby made four 3-pointers and added five rebounds, four assists and three steals for Atlanta, which has won three of four.

Miller was the longest-tenured King and was traded nearly one year after Bibby, who departed Sacramento on Feb. 16, 2008, in a five-player deal with Atlanta. Bibby spent 6½ seasons in Sacramento, which included five years as Miller's teammate. Miller and Bibby had tentative dinner plans after the game with Miller.

"Brad had a good career in Sacramento," Bibby said. "We all had good times here. But life moves on and life is moving on for him and his family. It's a business."

Salmons heard the trade news and never showed up at the arena, while Miller was there prior to the game and had an emotional departure that included a tearful radio interview.

"My time here (in Sacramento) was unbelievable - the best years of my life and some of the not so best," said Miller, whose production had dropped off this season. I had a lot of good times and made a lot of good friends out here. Right now I'm going somewhere where I know a lot of people and I'm looking forward to it."

Martin had 16 of his 24 points in the second quarter when the Kings overcame a 13-point deficit to lead 59-55 at the half. Bibby had 15 points in the half.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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