CHICAGO – Kevin Martin scored 30 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 6.4 seconds left, and Ron Artest added 22 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Sacramento Kings past the Chicago Bulls 89-88 on Friday night.

Chicago’s Chris Duhon threw away an inbounds pass with 13 seconds left. Mike Bibby drove the lane and passed out to Martin, whose jumper gave the Kings the lead.

Duhon then dribbled the ball off his foot, and Sacramento left the United Center with a come-from-behind victory.

Artest scored seven points in the final 1:10, starting with a three-point play that cut the Bulls’ lead to 83-80. After Artest missed a long 3-pointer, Luol Deng of the Bulls made one free throw with 23 seconds left that made it 86-82. But Bibby, who scored 23 points, pulled Sacramento within 88-87 with a fadeaway 3-pointer from the corner with 14 seconds remaining.

Deng scored 29 points and Ben Wallace grabbed 13 rebounds in his first regular-season home game as a Bull. It was also his first meeting with Artest since the brawl between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills two years ago.

Artest gave each of Bulls a pat on the rear end before the opening tip, then struggled from the field before the late surge. He was fouled backing in on Kirk Hinrich on the game’s opening possession. Wallace swatted the ball into the seats, drawing a few oohs, and Artest made both free throws.

Otherwise, there was little interaction between the two – unlike their encounter on Nov. 19, 2004.

On that night, Artest fouled Wallace with 45 seconds left in a game the Pistons had wrapped up. Wallace responded with a two-handed shove to the chin, and mayhem followed.

The result was lawsuits and criminal charges for the players and fans.

Nine players were suspended, with Artest benched for the remainder of the season – a punishment that cost him about $5 million. He was traded to Sacramento last season and did not play against the Pistons. Wallace, who signed with the Bulls in the summer, was suspended for six games.

Artest reiterated his desire to box Wallace on pay per view before Friday’s game, predicting he would win in one round. Otherwise, he tried to defuse any drama.

“If it were Detroit-Indiana, it would be different,” said Artest, a former Bull. “There would probably be more anxiety.”

With 10,000 fans handed Ben Wallace afro wigs, the Bulls’ center broke out his trademark hairdo after keeping it braided during the preseason and the first two games. Then, he gave a vintage performance.

After averaging eight rebounds in the first two games, he had seven in the first quarter alone.

Notes: Kings coach Eric Musselman was an assistant with Orlando from 1998 to 2000 and worked with Wallace for one year. “Ben Wallace was the nicest guy in the world, the most down-to-earth, hard worker,” Musselman said. “He practiced and played like it was his last practice and his last game. To ever think that he’d be an All-Star and be a guy that everybody in the league talks about, speaks volumes of his work ethic and how far he’s come as a player. And just the belief that he had in himself.” … The Bulls honored late Celtics coach and executive Red Auerbach with a moment of silence before the game.

AP-ES-11-03-06 2343EST



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