Sports

Martin's return can't save Kings

SACRAMENTO -- Kevin Martin came out firing -- and hitting -- in his return from injury. His Sacramento Kings teammates offered little support.

Martin scored 25 points, but Mike Dunleavy scored 23 and the Indiana Pacers never trailed in their 111-105 victory over the Kings on Saturday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Ahead 105-103 in the final minute, Jermaine O'Neal made two free throws and Danny Granger hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to help the Pacers end a seven-game road losing streak.

Travis Diener made five 3s and scored a career-high 19 points in playing much of the second half for the Pacers. Danny Granger scored 14 points, O'Neal had 12 and seven rebounds, Marquis Daniels scored 12 points, and Shawne Williams and Kareem Rush each added 10.

Martin shot 7-for-9 from the field and 10-for-10 from the line in his return after missing 17 games with a groin injury.

Martin's first miss, a short jumper in the lane, would have tied the game 103-103 with just under a minute to play, and he later had a driving layup go in and out.

Francisco Garcia had 22 points and 12 rebounds and John Salmons added 15 points for the Kings. Brad Miller had 14 points and 15 rebounds, but also committed six turnovers. Beno Udrih also scored 14 points.

Although the lead was in jeopardy throughout the fourth quarter, the Pacers never trailed, helped by Sacramento's constant mistakes in committing 23 turnovers that led to 25 Indiana points.

Although the Kings got Martin back, two starters still remain sidelined with injuries. Mike Bibby has not played all season but is scheduled to return on Wednesday, while Ron Artest could be back on the court by late January.

Diener came off the bench to score 11 points in the third period to keep Indiana in front 86-80. Dunleavy enjoyed a big first half, scoring 18 points and helping the Pacers take a 65-53 lead at the break.

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