Rick Adelman gets 500th career victory

Wednesday, December 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Faced with an opponent that enjoys running and gunning just as much as they do, the Sacramento Kings won by slowing down.

Chris Webber had 24 points and nine rebounds in his second game back from injury, and Rick Adelman got his 500th career victory as the Kings beat the Orlando Magic 112-100 Tuesday night.

Sacramento, the NBA's highest-scoring team the past two seasons, held off the squad leading the league this fall.

With Orlando's Tracy McGrady, Mike Miller and Pat Garrity hoisting shots at nearly every opportunity, the Kings relied on defense, passing and rebounding to end a five-game homestand with their fourth straight victory.

``It was a different kind of game, but we adjusted our style,'' said Doug Christie, who had 10 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. ``That's what good teams do. We finally got some defensive stops, and that was it.''

Peja Stojakovic scored 23 points as the Kings improved to 17-5 _ the best start in the franchise's 54-year history. Hedo Turkoglu added 17 for Sacramento, which beat the Magic at Arco Arena for the seventh straight time.

``It's great to get this win at home in front of the fans and my family, but they really made us work for it,'' said Adelman, the 22nd NBA coach to win 500 games.

Though the Kings led comfortably through most of the final three quarters, Adelman was visibly upset by his team's poor defensive rotations, which gave the Magic's mobile jumpshooters plenty of open looks.

The Magic were playing their fourth game in five nights _ with a cross-country flight on their only off-day _ but it didn't show until the Kings pulled away in the fourth.

``Once they get that lead, they're very difficult because they shoot the ball so well,'' Magic coach Doc Rivers said. ``We moved the ball, we spaced the floor, and we ran pick-and-rolls as well as you can run them. That kept us close, but we just couldn't cut into it.''

Webber, still moving a bit gingerly after missing the season's first 20 games with a sprained ankle, scored eight points in the third quarter. He was only one part of a typically balanced Sacramento attack, which produced a season-high 31 assists and outrebounded the Magic 55-39.

McGrady, one night after scoring 47 points in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, had 21. Miller added 17 for the Magic, who have lost the first three games of their six-game road trip. They play three more times in the next five days.

``It's difficult, but you've got to find a way to win,'' Miller said. ``They're playing well. Their defense is up a little bit, and that's what it all comes down to.''

Webber committed offensive fouls on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter, allowing the Magic to get within nine after leading by 17 earlier.

Garrity scored nine straight to close Orlando to 98-89 with four minutes left, but Turkoglu hit a 3-pointer and Webber made a short hook shot to seal it.

Garrity had 17 points, and Darrell Armstrong added 12 for the Magic, who had a season-low eight offensive rebounds.