NBA Cavaliers take royal beating as Kings score season high
Cleveland fell to sixth place in the East with the 128-109 blowout loss.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- For Sacramento, the points just seem to come easy against Cleveland.
Peja Stojakovic, Cuttino Mobley and Mike Bibby each scored 22 points and the Kings held off a late Cleveland run, beating the Cavaliers 128-109 on Friday night.
The Kings set a season highs in points and field goal percentage (57.1) and beat the Cavaliers for the ninth straight time.
Their previous high in points was set in a 123-96 home win against Cleveland on Jan. 20.
73 points in first half
Sacramento set season highs with 41 points in the second quarter and 73 points in the first half.
"We wanted to come out and run and we jumped on them in the second quarter," Bibby said.
Sacramento scored 104 points through three quarters and took advantage of a Cavaliers team that was tired and out of synch while playing its second set of back-to-back games in five days.
"When you play four games in five nights and two of those games are overtime games, you're not going to have a lot of gas in the tank," said Brendan Malone, who is 3-4 since taking over for the fired Paul Silas.
The loss dropped Cleveland (37-34) into a tie with Indiana for the sixth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Sacramento (45-29) moved a half-game in front of Houston for the fifth spot in the Western Conference.
"We can see a lot of teams chasing us, but we are still in the playoffs at this point," James said. "I'm going to do what I have to do to put this team on my back and get to the playoffs."
He's not kidding.
A lot of minutes
James finished with 35 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
He has played 191 minutes in four games this week, averaging nearly 48 minutes and 32 points, but the Cavs have gone only 2-2.
James, who has a sore left ankle, said his body is holding up.
"I've got the whole off-season to rest. Now is not the time to take off. I feel like I can play a lot of minutes, so I'm fine with it," James said before the game.
"If I feel like I'm not helping the team, then I'll come out."
The sellout crowd booed as the Kings made eight straight shots to open a 31-point lead with 6:18 remaining in the third quarter.
Cleveland cut the deficit to 22 by the end of the quarter and pulled within 115-106 in the fourth behind James and Drew Gooden, who Gooden had 21, including 16 in the second half.
"You couldn't relax," said Kings coach Rick Adelman.
"They were playing at home and started making shots. When a team has a guy like LeBron with the ball, they can score every time down the court."
Remained in control
But Bibby hit a 3-pointer with 3:33 remaining and had a three-point play less then a minute later to extend the lead.
"We dug such a big hole, it was hard to get out of that hole," Malone said.
Kenny Thomas added 18 points and Corliss Williamson scored 17 in a reserve role for the Kings. Bibby added nine assists.
The Kings went on a 35-13 run over the last 9:30 in the second quarter to take a 73-52 halftime lead. They outrebounded the Cavaliers 18-2 in the period.
Sasha Pavlovic tied a season high with 17 points and Anderson Varejao scored 12 to lead Cleveland's reserves.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter and wasn't a factor, limited to eight points -- all from the foul line -- in 19 minutes.
James repeatedly drove to the basket early after shooting 10-for-28 in an overtime loss to Chicago on Thursday night.
Malone told James after that game to try to avoid taking jump shots early in the shot clock. James shot 13-for-21 against the Kings.