Sports

Artest says season is a 'failure' for Kings

SEATTLE -- Ron Artest knows the Sacramento Kings have improved in the standings over last season.

Kevin Martin scored 31 points, and Artest had 29 points and 12 rebounds in the Kings' 120-107 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Sunday night, helping Sacramento match its win total from last season with nine games left.

That's not even close to enough for the veteran forward.

"It's a failure," Artest said of the Kings (33-40) not making the playoffs this season. "We have one of the best defensive players to ever play the game in myself. We have Brad (Miller) and Kevin (Martin), up-and-coming first- and second-team All-NBA guys, and we have some good point guards, so it's a failure that we didn't make the playoffs."

The Kings broke away in the second half, holding the Sonics to 18 points in the third period and using an 11-0 run for a 94-83 lead.

"This was a case of our guys coming out in the second half and deciding that they wanted to guard somebody," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "It was all about defense."

SUNDAY'S GAMES -- Host Boston held Miami to an NBA-record low 17 field goals in coasting to an 88-62 victory. The Celtics led 27-4 after 10 minutes. ... San Antonio built a 25-point lead and cruised past visiting Houston 109-88 for its seventh win in a row. ... Rashad McCants scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half, and Corey Brewer tied a career high with 16 points as host Minnesota defeated Utah 110-103. The Jazz was without Andrei Kirilenko (calf) and Mehmet Okur (illness). ... Atlanta beat visiting New York 114-109 to increase its lead over New Jersey to 2½ games for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. ... Visiting New Orleans defeated Toronto 118-111 and reached 50 wins for the first time since the 1997-98 season. ... LeBron James made a twisting bank shot with 19.3 seconds left to put host Cleveland ahead to stay in a 91-88 victory over Philadelphia. ... Kobe Bryant scored six of his 26 points in overtime, and the host Los Angeles Lakers defeated Washington 126-120 to reach 50 victories for the 29th time in franchise history.

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