A Sacramento Kings team that could not win on the road made itself at home last night against the 76ers at the Wachovia Center.
The Kings, who were 0-9 away from the Arco Arena, became the final NBA team to win a road game this season, posting a 109-99 victory over the Sixers.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Sixers (9-14).
Is this any way for the Sixers to begin a long stretch on the road, when 13 of the next 17 games will be played away from the Wachovia Center?
It's hard to imagine the 76ers playing much worse on the road than they did last night.
Of course, Sacramento (9-13) deserves some credit. The Kings worked hard for a multitude of easy baskets. Their last 13 field goals came on layups or dunks.
Sacramento also outhustled the Sixers, especially on the boards, where the Kings had a 39-31 advantage.
"We didn't have good rotations on defense," said Andre Iguodala, in an understatement.
Samuel Dalembert, coming off a near-triple-double (18 points, 11 rebounds, 9 blocks) in Wednesday's 98-94 win over Minnesota, did not come close to matching that effort last night. He finished with four points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
No one on the Kings was intimidated by the shot-blocking ability of Dalembert or anyone else. The Sixers' lane was like an open highway, with Sacramento consistently driving uncontested or scoring off back cuts.
"We just didn't do a good job," Dalembert said. "They were running it over and over, and when we did figure it out, it was too late in the second half."
Actually, the Sixers never did figure it out.
They were annihilated by the Kings' frontcourt, led by Brad Miller and Mikki Moore.
Miller had 25 points (on 9-for-12 shooting), 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Moore contributed 24 points (10 for 11). Former Sixer John Salmons added 19 points.
"We worked on spacing and back cuts," first-year Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "I thought it was one of our best games in terms of moving our bodies and moving the ball."
Andre Miller scored 24 points to lead the Sixers, but he had only six after halftime. Willie Green scored 16, and Iguodala and Lou Williams each added 15.
Iguodala had five of the Sixers' 21 turnovers.
With Mike Bibby still recovering from a torn ligament in his left thumb, the Kings have relied heavily on Beno Udrih, who played sparingly with the San Antonio Spurs before being acquired by Sacramento.
Udrih went scoreless in the first half, but the Kings were still tied with the Sixers at 51 at the break.
In the third quarter, Udrih scored 11 points and the Kings outscored the Sixers by 34-23. He continued his domination in the final quarter. For the game, Udrih had 15 points and six assists. He also exposed what has been a continuing flaw: the Sixers' inability to stop dribble penetration.
"Udrih controlled the game, and obviously they had a guy [Miller] who could step out and make shots," coach Maurice Cheeks said.
Even though Reggie Evans started guarding Miller, Dalembert was on him most of the time.
"Their game plan was to keep Brad Miller on top of the key and shoot jumpers and have Moore go to the basket," Dalembert said. "We didn't do a good job stopping that, and we didn't step up to Miller on the three."
Miller hit only one three-pointer. Six of his field goals were from the outside, but three were layups or dunks. In other words, he was torturing the Sixers in a variety of ways.
Afterward, Miller was more interested in talking about getting rid of the goose egg in the road-wins column.
"We are just going to enjoy this one," the Kings center said. "It finally puts us in the group with the other teams and not the only one without a road win."
Not something the Sixers wanted to hear.