Final: Kings 111, Magic 105
ORLANDO - There are plenty of distractions swirling around the Kings, but this was their best effort since the victory at Phoenix on Feb. 13. Maybe the Carl Landry trade shook up a few players? Regardless of the source of motivation, the Kings couldn't have played much better, or more collectively. Cut out some of the turnovers, and they walk out of their spectacular new arena with a victory. They passed the ball (30 assists), attacked the boards, challenged inside shots, really pushed the pace, and received strong performances from several players, among them Beno Udrih, Omri Casspi, Samuel Dalembert, Jason Thompson, Luther Head and Jermaine Taylor, the second-year guard who attended Central Florida and was playing in front of 20 or so friends and relatives. With 48.9 remaining, though, it was Thompson, who was shooting 63 percent from the line, who sank two free throws. After Hedo Turkoglu missed a three while defended tightly by Casspi, Head converted the clinching jumper from the right wing. The bench erupted like the Kings had won a title or something. Or something.