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NBA PLAYOFFS | WESTERN CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE

SACRAMENTO vs. PHOENIX

April 21, 2001|MARK HEISLER

SCHEDULE

Sunday at Sacramento, noon

Wednesday at Sacramento, 7:30 p.m.

April 29 at Phoenix, noon

May 2 at Phoenix, TBD*

May 4 at Sacramento, TBD*

* if necessary; TBD--to be determined

THE BREAKDOWN

* Team records (seeds): (3) Sacramento 55-27, (6) Phoenix 51-31.

* Season series: Kings, 3-1; Dec. 1--at Sacramento 105, Phoenix 98; Jan. 2--at Sacramento 121, Phoenix 117 (OT); March 7--Sacramento 100, at Phoenix 89; April 15--at Phoenix 88, Sacramento 86.

* Head coaches: Rick Adelman (third season), Scott Skiles (second season).

* Scouting report: Two surprises in search of a happy ending. A year ago, the Kings were highlight-happy also-rans at this level. Then, instead of crumbling in Chris Webber's free-agent season, they turned into an elite team with firepower, depth, even some defense. The Suns did pretty well too, seeing as how they never really had Penny Hardaway, winning 51 games as Shawn Marion turned into a star and Jason Kidd into a scorer. But the Suns are always running into someone bigger in the postseason and the Kings are now one of the game's biggest, deepest teams.

* Prediction: Kings, 3-1, setting up another go-around with their old friends from Los Angeles.

PROBABLE KING STARTERS

F Chris Webber 27.1 pts, 11.1 reb, 4.2 ast

F Predrag Stojakovic 20.4 pts, 5.8 reb

C Vlade Divac 12.0 pts, 8.3 reb

G Doug Christie 12.3 pts, 3.6 ast

G Jason Williams 9.4 pts, 5.4 ast

KEY RESERVES

G Hidayet Turkoglu 5.3 pts

F Scot Pollard 6.5 pts, 6.0 reb

G Bobby Jackson 7.2 pts, 2.0 ast

G Jon Barry 5.1 pts

PROBABLE SUN STARTERS

F Shawn Marion 17.3 pts, 10.7 reb

F Cliff Robinson 16.4 pts, 4.1 reb

C Jake Tsakalidis 4.5 pts, 4.2 reb

G Jason Kidd 16.0 pts, 9.8 ast, 6.4 reb

G Mario Elie 4.4 pts

KEY RESERVES

F Rodney Rogers 12.2 pts, 4.4 reb

F Tom Gugliotta 6.4 pts

G Tony Delk 12.3 pts

* Injury report: PHO--C Jake Tsakalidis (heel).

*--*

THE MATCHUPS SAC PHO Avg. points 101.7 (1) 94.0 (17) Avg. points allowed 95.9 (13) 91.8 (7) Avg. rebounds 45.0 (3) 42.7 (14) Opp. avg. rebounds 45.9 (29) 42.6 (16) Field goal % .449 (10) .436 (20) Opp. field goal % .432 (7) .435 (9) Free throw % .771 (5) .755 (15) Three point % .354 (13) .315 (28)

*--*

Research by Roy Jurgens

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