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Artest Has Debut, but Kings Lose

January 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

Ron Artest, playing his first game for the Sacramento Kings after being traded by the Indiana Pacers, scored 15 points, but the Celtics beat the Kings, 84-74, in Boston on Friday night.

Wally Szczerbiak scored 10 points in 24 minutes in his first game since being acquired by Boston from Minnesota.

"He hit some big shots. Helped them win," said Artest, who hadn't played since being benched by the Pacers in mid-December. "I can imagine what he was going through."

The catalyst for one of the worst brawls in NBA history, the 2004 fight in the Detroit stands, Artest finally wore out his welcome with the Pacers when he asked to be traded. The Kings were willing to take a chance on him and sent Peja Stojakovic to the Pacers.

Artest scored seven of the team's first 15 points, but the Kings made just four of 18 shots in the fourth quarter.

"He did as well as he could," King Coach Rick Adelman said. "He hadn't been working out that much because he didn't expect the trade."

Artest was five for 14 from the field and had six rebounds, four steals and two assists.

Detroit 95, Memphis 89 -- Chauncey Billups scored 10 points in a 97-second span late in the fourth quarter and the Pistons beat the Grizzlies at Auburn Hills, Mich., for their 10th straight win.

With Detroit down, 81-78, Billups hit four straight free throws to put the Pistons ahead with 2:27 to go. He then hit two three-pointers before finishing with 34 points.

Cleveland 93, Indiana 89 -- Zydrunas Ilgauskas made 12 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter and finished with 27 points, leading the Cavaliers over the Pacers at Indianapolis.

LeBron James had 30 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

Rookie Danny Granger led Indiana with 21 points and 14 rebounds.

Stojakovic arrived in Indianapolis after being traded from the Kings for Artest, but did not play.

Miami 91, Charlotte 85 -- Shaquille O'Neal had 23 points and Antoine Walker scored 12 of his 15 in the final quarter to help the Heat rally past the Bobcats at Charlotte, N.C.

Matt Carroll scored 20 points to lead Charlotte.

Minnesota 96, Houston 92 -- The day after he was traded from Boston, Ricky Davis scored 26 points to lead the Timberwolves over the Rockets at Houston. Kevin Garnett scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Minnesota.

Phoenix 110, Atlanta 106 -- Boris Diaw scored 25 points in his first game at Atlanta since he was traded last summer, leading the Suns over the Hawks.

Steve Nash had 22 points for Phoenix.

New York 97, Orlando 94 -- Eddy Curry had 27 points and 10 rebounds at Madison Square Garden as the Knicks held off the Magic.

Steve Francis scored 36 points for Orlando.

Portland 88, New Jersey 83 -- Juan Dixon had 26 points and the host Trail Blazers nearly squandered a 20-point lead before holding off the Nets.

Richard Jefferson had 23 points for the Nets, who were without injured top scorer Vince Carter.

Chicago 90, Washington 79 -- Ben Gordon scored 26 points to lead the Bulls over the Wizards at Chicago.

Gilbert Arenas led the Wizards with 23 points.

Milwaukee 108, Toronto 87 -- Bobby Simmons scored 18 points at home as the Bucks held the Raptors to a miserable shooting performance. The Raptors made just 30 of 74 attempts from the floor.

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