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Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009

Down by 35, Kings storm past Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) The buzzer sounded, the 35-point comeback was complete and both the ecstatic Sacramento Kings and the stunned Chicago Bulls had trouble describing what had just happened.

News photo
Spin move: Cleveland's Shaquille O'Neal heads for the hoop past Phoenix's Channing Frye in the first quarter on Monday night. The Cavaliers beat the Suns 109-91. AP PHOTO

"Wow! All I can say is, 'Wow!' " Tyreke Evans said after dominating down the stretch and leading the Kings to a 102-98 victory Monday night. "We fought to the end. It was amazing."

Indeed, it was one of the most amazing comebacks in NBA history.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the biggest rally since Utah overcame a 36-point deficit to beat Denver on Nov. 27, 1996. The Jazz trailed 70-34 in the second quarter before winning 107-103.

"I mean, what can you say? It's unheard of to do what just happened," Kings coach Paul Westphal said. "I'm not even sure I believe it, but it sure was fun."

The Bulls were talking about a collapse, not a comeback.

"This one stings," Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We stopped being aggressive, got a little complacent there and they jumped on it. We're not good enough to take a minute off, never mind a half."

The Bulls led 79-44 with 8:50 left in the third quarter, and were still up 83-50 two minutes later before the Kings stole momentum and, eventually, the game.

After Sacramento finished the third with a 19-5 run to make it 88-69, Ime Udoka scored 15 of the Kings' first 22 points in the fourth quarter to cut it to 95-91 with 2:28 remaining.

Evans, the outstanding rookie guard from Memphis, then personally outscored the Bulls 9-3 the rest of the way.

He converted a three-point play and, after Chicago's Luol Deng made a free throw, scored on a drive and hit a foul shot to give the Kings their first lead since the opening minutes. Evans then hit a 7-meter jumper at the shot-clock buzzer to put Sacramento up 99-96.

Cavaliers 109, Suns 91

In Phoenix, LeBron James and Mo Williams led a 15-0 fourth-quarter run and Cleveland handed the Suns their first home loss of the season.

James scored 29 and Williams 24 as the Cavs shot 53 percent one night after a tough loss at Dallas.

Steve Nash had 18 points and 10 assists for Phoenix.

The Suns, the NBA's only unbeaten team at home at 10-0 entering the game, had won 19 straight there overall. Their previous home loss was on March 12 — to the Cavaliers.

Spurs 103, Clippers 87

In San Antonio, Tony Parker scored 19 points and Roger Mason Jr. helped give the Spurs a decided bench advantage in a victory over Los Angeles.

Chris Kaman had 23 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Clippers.

Magic 104, Jazz 99

In Orlando, J.J. Redick had 20 points, Rashard Lewis scored 18 and the Magic blew past Utah with some potent 3-point shooting.

Paul Millsap had 23 points for the Jazz.

Bucks 84, Pacers 81

In Indianapolis, Andrew Bogut scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, leading Milwaukee over Indiana.

Roy Hibbert had 16 points for the Pacers.

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