Sacramento 99; Dallas 83

SACRAMENTO, May 12 (UPI) -- Just 24 hours after losing in a double-overtime classic, Sacramento breezed past Dallas Sunday night, 99-83, to even their playoff series.

Their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal is now tie at two games apiece.


Hedo Turkoglu scored 17 points to lead six players in double figures for the Kings, who fell in Game Three on Saturday, 141-137.

"I am just really pleased with our effort after last night," said Coach Rick Adelman. "That was such a huge disappointment last night, losing that game, the way it went down. One thing about this group, they are so resilient, they just respond."

The Kings, who lost All-Star forward Chris Webber for the remainder of the playoffs to an injured knee in Game Two, wasted little time in ensuring they would not trail by 3-1 heading into Dallas for Game Five on Tuesday.


Sacramento, which never trailed, took the lead for good, 10-8, on a basket by Turkoglu 4:34 into the contest. The Kings led by just 24-20 after one quarter, but extended their advantage to 52-37 at the break, and Dallas got no closer than 13 points in the final 24 minutes.

"We just didn't seem to have much tonight," said Dallas Coach Don Nelson. "We didn't have our legs, (and there) wasn't a lot of fuel left in the tank. I thought we tried hard. Didn't look like we were, but I really thought we were trying."

Vlade Divac added 16 points and nine rebounds, Peja Stojakovic 15 and 12, and Doug Christie, 13, 11, and seven assists for Sacramento, which allowed the Dallas to score as many points in 48 minutes as it produced in the playoff record-setting first half of a 132-110 victory in Game Two on Thursday.

"I was trying to attack the basket, push the tempo," Christie said. "After the double-overtime game, I had a bit of a feeling that both teams were going to be a little bit fatigued, and I tried to take care of myself last night and make sure that I was ready to come out here and run as fast as I possibly could."


"They had more energy than us tonight," said Mavericks guard Steve Nash, who had just six points and six assists after contributing 31 and 11 on Saturday. "I thought they did a great job with their backs against the wall. We've had a tough schedule lately, going seven games with Portland. They just had more energy than us tonight."

Michael Finley and Raja Bell paced Dallas with 16 points apiece. Guard Nick Van Exel, who scored a playoff career-high 40 points on Saturday, and had been averaging 32 points in the series, was held to five points, all in the fourth quarter, while All-Star Dirk Nowitzki was limited to 11.

"Peja was terrific on Nowitzki," said Adelman of Stojakovic, who had 39 points in Game Three. "Even though he didn't score like he did last night, he worked his tail off and made Nowitzki work."

Nowitzki, who made only 4-of-14 shots, was ejected with 2:20 left for kicking a pile of Dallas warmup gear after picking up a technical foul.

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