No high resolution image exists...
When a struggle turns into a victory, it doesn't seem as things went as badly as they appeared.
So the Kings took their 99-96 victory over the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night at Arco Arena before 14,522 fans and went home happily.
Well, most of them could tolerate ineptitude when coupled with the end of a seven-game losing streak.
Certainly Kings coach Paul Westphal could tolerate the victory no matter how it was produced. A KIngs Sac-era high 68 rebounds helped comfort the coach as well.
"I'm not going to lie," said Westphal, whose team improved to 16-28. "It feels good to get a win. Obviously, it wasn't the prettiest win anybody ever (has) see in this league. We shot 38 percent, they shot 32 percent (and) we had 21 turnovers and still found a way to win. So I'm not going to quibble about that."
Kevin Martin likely wasn't the planet's happiest fellow after making just one of nine field-goal attempts and scoring five points. Martin has made just three of 23 field-goal attempts over the past three games.
The coach, though, said he believes in Martin.
"I'm sure his confidence is rock-bottom now," said Westphal of his scoring guard, who is turning down shots he normally shoots and makes. "He's human, but at the same time he's trying to play through it and be aggressive. It wasn't his night, but he's going to get there."
However, no matter how diligently the Kings seemed bent on giving away a game in which they held a 21-point lead in the second quarter, they proved incapable of pulling off the feat.
The Warriors - who played without leading scorer Monte Ellis (right ankle sprain) - contributed even more to this game's ugliness. Sacramento shot 38 percent (35 of 92) from the field, but Golden State made a season-low 31.9 percent (30 of 94) of its field-goal attempts. The Warriors (13-30) made nine of 21 field-goal attempts (42.9 percent) in the fourth quarter, on the way to outscoring the Kings 36 to 26.
However, that was not enough to overcome strong performances off the bench from Andres Nocioni, Beno Udrih and little-used Sean May. Udrih scored a game- and season-high 24 points on eight of 15 from the field, and eight for eight from the free-throw line, while Nocioni scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds in just 19 minutes.
Sacramento's Jon Brockman missed the game with sore hip after a fall in Monday's practice, so Westphal spoke to May and let him know he could be receiving playing time.
May tied his season high with seven points, while his 11 rebounds in just 15 minutes were a season-high. He had not played since Dec. 12 - a total of 21 games. He'd not dressed in the past six and only had played in nine this season.
Yet, the Kings were ahead, 13-12, when May entered the game with 5:17 left in the first quarter. They were ahead, 32-21, when he left with 8:26 remaining in the second quarter. That helped lead the Kings towards what looked like a blowout. They held a 49-28 lead with 3:17 left in the second quarter, but the Warriors scored the first half's final 10 points.
"I knew I might play," May said, "but when the coach called me in the first quarter, I was shocked as hell. I know you always have to stay ready, and I was lucky I had been able to do so. People will say we almost threw this one away, but we held on and there is something to be said for closing it out."
The Kings have been troubled by their inability to turn leads into victories this season. They had difficulties Tuesday night, but they kept their lead to the end.