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Stoudamire Hits Game-Winner : Raptors 99 Kings 98

TORONTO -- Darrell Walker took one look into Damon Stoudamire's eyes Wednesday night and knew his captain was going to have a good night.

Stoudamire, the subject of trade rumors during the day, tied his career-high with 36 points and added 11 assists and nine rebounds in the Toronto Raptors' 99-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

He capped his night by hitting the game-winner with 3.8 seconds to play, earning Toronto its seventh win in 40 games.

"I come out to play, man," said Stoudamire, surrounded by a swarm of media at his lockerroom cubicle. "I come out to compete. You've got to play hard."

Earlier in the day, Stoudamire was reported to be headed to the Houston Rockets with center Zan Tabak and forward Walt Williams. The report was shot down by the Raptors, who did admit that they were involved in serious trade talks with several teams.

"We should have had trade rumors right from the beginning (of the season)," Walker joked.

Stoudamire had 17 points, six rebounds and six assists in the first half as the Raptors took a 55-49 lead at the break.

Marcus Camby had 15 points and 18 rebounds for Toronto, while Doug Christie had 15 points and John Wallace 14.

Mitch Richmond, also on the trading block, finished with 27 points and seven rebounds for the Kings, despite a bad ankle that kept him out for most of the second quarter.

Billy Owens added 22 points and 12 rebounds for Sacramento and Terry Dehere had 15 off the bench.

Toronto led by 10 early in the third quarter. But Owens scored nine points in a 16-6 Sacramento run to give the Kings the lead.

Sacramento built the lead to six points with three minutes left before Stoudamire led the Raptors back.

He scored eight points, picking off a key steal and making a highlight-film, above-the-rim pass to Camby to tie the game 95-all with a minute to go.

"More than any other player, Damon loves to play basketball," Christie said. "Damon was really focussed out there tonight."

Stoudamire's around-the-perimeter, pull-up jumper for the win left Richmond impressed.

"On that last shot, he did everything," Richmond said. ``He surprised me the way he pulled up so fast."

NOTES: Camby's 18 rebounds were split evenly between the offensive and defensive boards. ... Toronto outrebounded Sacramento 53-43. ... The lead changed hands 14 times, and the game was tied on 10 times.

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