The Sacramento Kings traded Chris Webber to the Philadelphia 76ers late last night, parting ways with the cornerstone of their renaissance in a stunning six-player deal that dramatically reshaped both teams.
The Sixers acquired Webber, one of the NBA's elite power forwards and a five-time All-Star, along with reserve forwards Matt Barnes and Michael Bradley. Philadelphia sent forwards Brian Skinner, Kenny Thomas and Corliss Williamson to the Kings, who finally divested themselves of Webber's mammoth contract after years of rumors and speculation.
Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations, acquired Webber from Washington before the 1999 season in a deal that transformed Sacramento into an interesting, contending team. The Kings then re-signed Webber to a seven-year deal worth approximately $127 million in 2001.
Webber has played exceptionally well in recent weeks, averaging 21.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game -- though he isn't the athlete he was before undergoing serious knee surgery following the 2003 playoffs.
After scoring 30 points in the Kings' 114-104 win over Atlanta Tuesday night, Webber acknowledged the annual uncertainty over his future with a shrug -- but the forward, who has three years and $62 million left on his contract, didn't believe he was about to be traded.
Pacers 93, Heat 91 -- Jermaine O'Neal scored all three Indiana baskets in overtime, including a turnaround jumper from the baseline with 11 seconds remaining, and the host Pacers beat Shaq-less Miami.
O'Neal finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots as the Pacers won their fourth straight game and their 11th in a row over the Heat.
Dwyane Wade had 38 points, 1 point short of his career high set in November against Utah, and scored 9 in the final eight minutes of the fourth quarter.
Lakers 86, Trail Blazers 83 -- Kobe Bryant had 31 points and Los Angeles held off a second-half Portland rally to beat the Trail Blazers in Portland. Shareef Abdur-Rahim missed a 3-point attempt at the final buzzer, giving the Lakers their third straight win.
Damon Stoudamire scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half for the Blazers, who have won just one of their last six games.
Wizards 93, Grizzlies 83 -- Gilbert Arenas scored 30 points and Antawn Jamison added 27 to lead host Washington over Memphis.
Arenas had 10 rebounds and six assists as the Wizards ended a three-game losing streak and won their fifth in a row at home. Jamison, who along with Arenas was on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, also finished with 10 rebounds.
SuperSonics 103, Hornets 85 -- Rashard Lewis made six 3-pointers and scored 26 points as Seattle beat host New Orleans for the fourth straight time.
Lewis made eight of 11 shots from the field and six of eight 3-pointers -- one more than the Hornets, capping the performance with a perfect night at the free throw line where he was 4 of 4.
Bucks 100, Nets 81 -- Desmond Mason scored 15 points, ZaZa Pachulia tied his career high with 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Milwaukee defeated visiting New Jersey.
Vince Carter had 26 points and Jason Kidd added 11 points and seven assists for the Nets, who have lost five of seven.
Warriors 101, Hawks 96 -- Jason Richardson scored 31 points, Derek Fisher added 20 and host Golden State sent Atlanta to 17th straight road loss.
Troy Murphy had a season-high 20 rebounds for the Warriors after missing their final 10 games before the All-Star break with a broken left thumb. Golden State, which went into the break with a surprising road win over Seattle, returned with a solid effort against the Hawks.
Cavaliers 100, Bulls 91 -- Zydrunas Ilgauskas and LeBron James scored 41 of host Cleveland's 57 points in the second half, and the Cavaliers returned from the All-Star break with a victory over Chicago.
Mavericks 101, Jazz 83 -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 of his 29 points in the second half and Dallas rallied after blowing a 15-point lead, beating Utah in Salt Lake City.
Suns 118, Clippers 101 -- Leandro Barbosa, playing in place of the injured Steve Nash, scored a season-high 22 points, helping host Phoenix hand Los Angeles its eighth consecutive loss.
Spurs 99, Rockets 81 -- Tim Duncan scored 30 points and Tony Parker added 22 to lead host San Antonio to its first win over Houston this season in three tries.