EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - John Salmons scored a career-high 31 points and passed to Francisco Garcia for a decisive three-pointer to lead the Sacramento Kings over the slumping New Jersey Nets, 106-101, last night.
Salmons, a star at Plymouth Whitemarsh High and a former 76er, surpassed his previous high of 27. In his sixth NBA season, he has emerged at shooting guard in the absence of Kevin Martin, who was leading Sacramento in scoring when he went down with a groin injury two weeks ago.
"My teammates got the ball to me and gave me the chance to go one-on-one, and I got a lot of good chances," Salmons said.
Brad Miller added 23 points and Ron Artest had 20 for the Kings, who got their second road win of the season. Their first came Friday against the Sixers.
New Jersey, which has lost six of its last seven games and eight of its last 10 at home, was led by Richard Jefferson's 36 points. Vince Carter scored 15 points, and rookie Sean Williams had eight blocked shots, tying Mike Gminski's 1981 team record.
Lakers 103, Bulls 91
CHICAGO - Sasha Vujucic scored 19 points and Lamar Odom added 17 points and 16 rebounds as Los Angeles beat Chicago.
Slowed by a groin injury, Kobe Bryant scored 18 points for the Lakers, but was a nonfactor for long stretches against the team he targeted as a possible destination during the offseason. He seemed fine when he converted an alley-oop dunk in the opening minute, but missed his next seven shots and was 7 for 19 overall.
Luol Deng led Chicago with 26 points, and Kirk Hinrich finished with 17 points and eight assists. Andres Nocioni scored 14 points, but hurt his foot late in the game.
Jordan jumps in.
Michael Jordan was back on the court yesterday, swishing jump shots and talking tough in an effort to get more involved with his slumping team, the Charlotte Bobcats. The 44-year-old part-owner joined a drill during practice, then gave tips to some young players.
"This was more or less for the morale of the players. The last couple of days it has been all about trying to get them to focus on the little things and to play as a team," said Jordan, rarely seen in public since buying into the Bobcats in June 2006. The workout came a day after he sat in on team meetings and film sessions as the Bobcats try to end a stretch of 10 losses in 12 games under first-year coach Sam Vincent.