Sports

Kings end road futility

Kings swingman John Salmons (19 points, three rebounds) grabs a rebound in front of 76ers forward Reggie Evans on Friday.
Kings swingman John Salmons (19 points, three rebounds) grabs a rebound in front of 76ers forward Reggie Evans on Friday. AP

PHILADELPHIA -- Misery loves company, as they say.

And that much, if nothing else, the Kings had.

An 0-9 road record had made them one of three in terms of futility, matching a franchise low to start a season just like the 1987-88 and 1993-94 Kings had done. But these Kings were alone in a sense, too, the only team in the NBA still looking for its first road win.

It only made sense, then, that the Kings would break the trend with a performance in which they played together.

A six-week search for their first road win ended with a 109-99 decision over Philadelphia on Friday night at the Wachovia Center, where the Kings broke their trend by helping each other from beginning to end.

It is a concept that has either avoided them or been challenging because of unforeseen circumstances this season. But in what was their fifth game with the same starting lineup after the injury to Kevin Martin, some signs of growing chemistry showed as the Kings had a season-high-tying 27 assists.

They shared the scoring load instead of opting for the one-man shows, with three players finishing with at least 19 points, and Brad Miller and Mikki Moore having what was easily their most productive outing as a duo on the frontline.

"I think tonight, we proved it to ourselves, that if you keep going to the basket, you end up getting in the (penalty) bonus, you end up shooting free throws, and end up setting the tone for our offense and it leads into our defense," Moore said. "We're starting to jell now, starting to mature as a team. We just can't be passive, can't think, 'I can save the game or I can beat this team by myself.' We have to rely on one another."

Moore relied mostly on Miller, who repeatedly found him for alley-oop dunks or easy layups. Moore tied his career high with 24 points and put on a showcase on how he led the league in field-goal percentage last season, as he hit 10 of 11 field goals that included seven dunks of the loudest kind. Moore's emphatic style was even more pronounced in the pindrop-quiet venue, where a 10,856 were on hand in an arenag that holds 21,600 fans.

He scored 10 points in a third quarter in which the Kings turned a 51-51 tie at halftime into an 81-54 third-quarter lead. Moore finished his evening in fitting form, dunking over 76ers small forward Kyle Korver with 1:12 remaining.

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