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Skinner, Thomas outperform Webber
Webber gets warm welcome, Kings get winChris Webber returned to Arco Arena on Monday night and showed why Kings fans developed such deep-seated feelings about him during a seven-year run that lifted an afterthought of a team to a perennial playoff contender.
He also showed why the Kings are better off without him.
And his warm memories of his time with the Kings will last much longer than the sting of this loss.
Love and missesAfter hitting four of his first five shots, Webber never got in a rhythm. The five-time All-Star went 8-for-26, missing nine of his 12 shots after halftime - and after he returned to the game with 5:37 to play, Sacramento scored nine straight points to clinch the win.
Arco game report: Barnes suffering on bench in Philly"It was the first time I'd been traded in the middle of the season, first time I was traded from a championship contender, first time I was traded when I was on the road, first time I had to pack six years worth of stuff in one day," Webber said. "Yeah, it was different."
Mark Kreidler: Fans' salute to Webber honors past greatnessSo, all things considered, how's it going, Matt?
"Terrible," the swingman muttered. "It's not going very well at all. I know this is a business, but I didn't expect this. And to not play at all, it hurts. I'm very disappointed."
Well-wishers cuddle C-WebbThere was a little love in the air at Arco Arena on Monday night, and it figures. If you focus on Webber through the prism of the classic Kings fan - long-suffering, formerly used to getting excited over how the draft lottery might turn out, able to recite Duane Causwell's blocks-per-minute ratio upon request - the only appropriate response to his pregame introduction as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers was the sustained and appreciative ovation that Webber received
"It was almost like just coming in and trying to separate this day as a different part of my career here," he told the packed interview room that for the first time during a regular-season game hosted an opposing player for a postgame session. "I didn't want this to be me versus them. I enjoyed my time here. I wanted to win, but there will be some guys in that (Kings') locker room who I'll be friends with when we probably can't even walk from all this playing.